USA-Belgium 2014 World Cup Live: Team USA Eliminated After Comeback Falls Short

USA Belgium 2014 World CupFinal, 2-1 Belgium: It’s over. The United States is out of the 2014 World Cup, and Belgium moves on to the quarterfinals.

Team USA fought to the bitter end but ultimately fell short against the Red Devils. The extra-time goals de Bruyne and Lukaku scored gave Belgium a large enough cushion to absorb the impact of that furious United States comeback.

Green’s strike gave America hope and a glimpse of his vast potential, but destiny was not on Team USA’s side as it failed to convert late scoring chances.

Belgium’s second-half performance exhausted the Americans, who would have been overrun were it not for Howard, who delivered one of the finest goalkeeping performances in World Cup history.

Howard’s showing against Belgium cements his reputation as one of the top goalkeepers in the world. The longtime U.S. international deserves every plaudit that is coming his way.

Meanwhile, Klinsmann and his players will be left to wonder “what if?”

Postgame analysis of USA-Belgium >>

That’s all for now, and thanks for joining us. Let’s discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for some news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.

120th minute, 2-1 Belgium: The United States has one more minute to save its World Cup dream, and Klinsmann is furious that the referee didn’t add more time.

117th minute, 2-1 Belgium: The United States is trying to scrape and scheme its way to the tying goal, and it almost works.

114th minute, 2-1 Belgium: The U.S. nearly ties it up with a free-kick routine straight from the playground.

Dempsey was in on goal, but Courtois reacted quickly, cut down the angle and made a crucial save.

111th minute, 2-1 Belgium: Belgium removes Hazard and brings on Nacer Chadli for the final 10 minutes.

111th minute, 2-1 Belgium: Howard denies Belgium again.

Lukaku dribbled into the U.S. area and shot, but Howard saved it with his trailing leg.

109th minute, 2-1 Belgium: The United States is brimming with belief.

Yedlin crossed into the penalty area, where a U.S. player headed it back to the spot for Jones, who missed with his shot.

107th minute, 2-1 Belgium: Green scores and cuts Belgium’s lead in half.

Bradley lofted a delicate pass into the Belgium penalty area. Green ran onto it and volleyed it past Courtois.

106th minute, 2-0 Belgium:  The second half of extra time is underway.

105th minute, 2-0 Belgium: That’s the end of the first half of extra time. The United States has 15 more minutes to climb out of this hole.

105th minute +2, 2-0 Belgium: The United States makes its final substitution, replacing Bedoya with young winger Julian Green.

105th minute, 2-0 Belgium: Lukaku finishes a Belgium counter-attack with aplomb, and Belgium is up by two.

104th minute, 1-0 Belgium: Howard makes another fine save after Mirallas breaks free behind the U.S. back line and shoots.

102nd minute, 1-0 Belgium: Jones is down after de Bruyne kicked the ball straight into his face.

101st minute, 1-0 Belgium: Team USA is pushing forward in search of the tying goal, and it nearly paid dividends.

100th minute, 1-0 Belgium: The United States has plenty of time, but exhaustion is an issue.

The Americans were under siege throughout the second half, and Belgium’s sustained possession forced them to exert a lot of energy in the hot and humid conditions.

93rd minute, 1-0 Belgium: Belgium takes the lead after de Bruyne slots a shot past Howard.

Lukaku created the danger with a run down the right. Gonzalez failed to clear Lukaku’s cross, and the ball fell to de Bruyne, who expertly finished to the far post.

 

91st minute, 0-0: The first period of extra time is underway.

Belgium made a substitution during the interval, replacing Origi with Romelu Lukaku.

End of 90 minute, 0-0: The latest craze continues. This one is goalless and heading into extra time.

There will be two, 15-minute periods of extra time. If there is no winner at the end of the half-hour, a penalty-kick shootout will determine which team advances to the quarterfinals.

90th minute +3, 0-0: Wondolowski misses what would have certainly been the game-winner.

Wondolowski is one of the best goal scorers in the recent history of Major League Soccer and one of Klinsmann’s favorites, but he let the U.S. down with that miss. Extra time could give him a shot at redemption.

90th minute, 0-0: There will be three minutes of added time.

90th minute, 0-0: Kompany surges forward and mis-kicks a cross that nearly beats Howard.

But it doesn’t because the U.S. goalkeeper is having the game of his life.

88th minute, 0-0: Hazard misses with a shot from close range.

Belgium caught the United States up the field, and nearly scored the winner with a counter-attack.

85th minute, 0-0: Origi turns and shoots. Howard saves it over the crossbar.

83rd minute, 0-0: Besler blocks van Buyten’s shot, as another scoring chance eludes Belgium.

79th minute, 0-0: Howard simultaneously saves and clears Hazards shot out of danger.

It’s like Howard is playing two positions out there.

78th minute, 0-0: Gonzalez is down. The U.S. center back landed on Kompany’s foot during an aerial challenge and appeared to badly twist his ankle.

Gonzalez will continue playing.

76th minute, 0-0: Howard is the hero once again for team USA.

Mirallas was sent in behind the U.S. defense and shot, but Howard was quick off his line, cut down the angle and made a save with his trailing leg.

74th minute, 0-0: Belgium coach Marc Wilmots pushed Fellaini into an attacking midfield position, leaving Wistel alone to shield Belgium’s back line.

Fellaini can cause havoc in the opponent’s penalty area, creating and finishing chances with his head (afro) and feet.

Cameron must track Fellaini into the U.S. penalty area or risk a goal.

72nd minute, 0-0: Zusi is being replaced by striker Chris Wondolowski in the United States’ second substitution of the game.

71st minute, 0-0: The U.S. defense breaks down, allowing Origi to collect the ball inside the penalty area and shoot, but Howard rushes off his line and makes a sliding save.

69th minute, 0-0: Belgium continues to dominate possession and test Howard — the latest being Fellaini who shoots wide from outside the U.S. penalty area.

64th minute, 0-0: Howard saves Vertonghen’s long-range soht.

63rd minute, 0-0: Belgium has overwhelmed the U.S. during the second half, but the score remains tied.

Belgium has shifted de Bruyne to the left wing and moved Hazard to the right, which has reduced Yedlin’s impact to almost zero.

60th minute, 0-0: Mertens is being replaced by Kevin Mirallas.

60th minute, 0-0: Origi ghosts past a pair of American defenders and crosses to Mertens, who misses the target with a back-heeled effort.

57th minute, 0-0: Howard makes a kick save on Vertonghen.

56th minute, 0-0: Origi heads on goal, but it grazes the crossbar and goes out for a goal kick.

54th minute, 0-0: Vertonghen serves a menacing pass through the U.S. goal-mouth, but none of the Red Devils can redirect it past Howard.

53rd minute, 0-0: Belgium is having all the possession so far in the second half, but the compact U.S. defense is handling the threat.

47th minute, 0-0: Once again, Howard makes a save early in the half.

Mertens headed de Bruyne’s cross on goal. Howard backpedaled and tipped it over the crossbar.

46th minute, 0-0: The second half is underway.

Halftime, 0-0: That’s the end of the first half. It’s goalless in Salvador.

Team USA gave and Team USA took in the opening period. A mistake gifted Belgium a scoring chance in the first minute, and the Red Devils had the brighter start overall.

But the United States grew into the contest as the half wore on, particularly after Johnson’s injury and Yedlin’s arrival.

Yedlin had an instant impact and won admirers around the world for his blazing speed, serviceable crosses and a solid, two-way performance against Hazard.

The United States must remain aggressive — physically and tactically — in the second half. Belgium is pushing forward, leaving plenty of open space at the back into which the U.S. can counter. It goes without saying that the American attackers must finish the chances when presented.  They should have more than a few in the second half.

45th minute, 0-0: The lively de Bruyne snaps a long-shot from distance, but Howard saves it without much fuss.

42nd minute, 0-0: Kompany is cautioned for a foul on Dempsey.

38th minute, 0-0: Yedlin makes an early impact.

The young fullback is using his considerable speed to bomb forward and cross into the Belgium penalty area. Yedlin’s teammates haven’t connected with his deliveries, but he’s moving into great positions and causing problems for Belgium.

34th minute, 0-0: Yedlin’s job is arguably more important than any of his teammates.

Yedlin, 20, must stop (or contain) Belgium’s superstar Eden Hazard when defending. He also must push forward at the right times, forcing Hazard into doing the defensive work that the soccer world knows he doesn’t particularly enjoy doing.

32nd minute, 0-0: Now we know why.

U.S. right back Fabian Johnson injured his hamstring and is forced out of the game.

DeAndre Yedlin replaces Johnson and takes up his position at right back.

30th minute, 0-0: Belgium is exploiting the right side of the U.S. defense and creating chance after chance.

26th minute, 0-0: Beasley saves the U.S. with a heroic clearance deep inside his team’s penalty area.

23rd minute, 0-0: The United States dodges a bullet.

Belgium counter-attacked with more players than the U.S. had defenders, but de Bruyne slowed the play and selfishly shot wide.

21st minute, 0-0: Dempsey and Bradley combine at the top of Belgium’s penalty area to produce the United States’ first clear-cut scoring chance.

Dempsey shot from inside the area, but it went straight at Belgium goalkeeper Courtois, who is one of the best in the business.

18th minute, 0-0: Cameron is cautioned for tripping Mertens.

The yellow card could make it uncomfortable for Cameron, who is not afraid to tackle robustly.

16th minute, 0-0: There’s a temporary delay, as a man runs onto the field and enjoys the freedom of the stadium.

He was out there for ages before security finally intervened and escorted him off the field.

Klinsmann didn’t seem to be particularly impressed.

14th minute, 0-0: Origi is down after Besler tackled him from behind.

The U.S. center back is lucky to avoid a yellow card for that tackle.

10th minute, 0-0: Team USA is looking to lure Belgium into its half — either with its own possession or by defending deep.

When Belgium moves forward, the United States has sprayed long passes in an effort to use its speed on the flanks to create scoring chances.

It hasn’t work so far, but there are signs that it could be effective.

Fourth minute, 0-0: Neither team has established possession early on, but the Americans are aggressive when counter-attacking.

First minute, 0-0: The game is underway, and Belgium nearly strikes first.

Howard was forced to make a kick save on Origi, who broke in behind the defense.

Kickoff: The anthems have been sung, and the game is set to begin.

Pregame: Geoff Cameron returns to the starting 11 in Jurgen Klinsmann’s biggest gamble since cutting Landon Donovan.

Cameron started at center back in the United States’ first two games, but Klinsmann dropped him to the bench after his errors against Portugal lead to goals. Omar Gonzalez replaced Cameron in defense — and played well — for the Germany game.

The versatile Cameron will start as a holding midfielder against Belgium. Cameron’s athleticism and willingness to play physically could be an asset. More important, the presence of Cameron should liberate Michael Bradley.

With Cameron doing the dirty work behind him, Bradley shined in Team USA’s 2-0 victory against Panama on June 12, 2013.

3:45 p.m.: Here are the lineups:

3:30 p.m. ET: The United States men’s national soccer team puts its credentials as would-be soccer power to the test on Tuesday when it faces Belgium in the Round of 16 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The United States can match its best-ever showing at a modern World Cup if it defeats Belgium. Team USA would advance to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since 2002, and add to its legions of new fans at home and around the world.

Belgium, a rising soccer power, qualified for the Round of 16 by winning Group H. The Red Devils defeated South Korea, Algeria and Russia to finish the group stage with a perfect haul of nine points.

The United States surprised the world by surviving Group G — the so-called “Group of Death.” Team USA defeated Ghana and drew against Portugal before losing to Germany in the group finale.

Jozy Altidore will start on the bench for the United States. Altidore injured his hamstring in Team USA’s opening win against Ghana but is now available.

Center back Vincent Kompany will start for Belgium. Kompany, Belgium’s captain, is nursing a groin injury, which ruled him out of some of his team’s recent practice sessions.

The game kicks off at 4 p.m. ET. Stay right here for all the action from the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Three keys to victory for Team USA against Belgium >>

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