The United States’ World Cup fate hung in the balance against Germany on June 26 — they’d either be charging on into the Round of 16 or packing their bags and heading home. And after 90 intense minutes, the Germans were just too strong for the U.S. — but it didn’t even end up mattering!
The stakes were clear for the United States Men’s National Team heading into their World Cup match against Germany on June 26 — with a win or a tie they would advance to the Round of 16, but with a loss they’d need some external help to move on. They got it. With the entire nation watching, the United States lost to Germany 1-0, but still managed to limp into the next round.
Germany Beats USA 1-0
The game started rather unassumingly. Aside from some early pressure by Germany, the sides played to a 0-0 tie after 45 minutes.
Germany continued to keep up the pressure in the second half, and in the 55th minute Thomas Muller ripped a shot past Tim Howard to take a 1-0 lead. And it took nearly 15 more minutes after that for the U.S. to even show signs of life. But Team USA still couldn’t make a dent in Germany’s defensive line, and they ended up limping through the rest of the game to a 1-0 loss.
USA Advances Thanks To Portugal & Ghana
But as it turns out, neither team even needed a win or tie on June 26. In the other Group G game, Portugal carried a 1-0 lead against Ghana into halftime. Ghana then scored an equalizer early in the second half, but Cristiano Ronaldo — the guy who helped break U.S. hearts on June 22 — gave Portugal a 2-1 lead that held until the end. And since Portugal trailed Team USA by 5 goals in the goal differential tiebreaker, they needed a far more convincing win to push them into the Round of 16.
So in the end, this massively important game between the U.S. and Germany actually ended up meaning close to nothing. With these results, Germany has won the Group of Death and the United States have advanced as the second best. Germany will play the runner-up in Group H on June 30, and the United States will play the winner of Group H (likely Belgium) on July 1.
So that was probably the least convincing way to head into the Round of 16, but still — I believe that we have advanced!
— Andrew Gruttadaro