Alejandro Bedoya and Jermaine Jones
How incredible is Team USA in the World Cup? It lost its final round-robin match and still got some of the best news in the history of American soccer.
Team Stars & Stripes kicked their way into the knockout round of 16 despite not scoring a goal in a rain-soaked 1-0 loss to Germany (let's be proud of the team's defense, I guess?), finishing with four points in the "Group of Death."
That was good enough for a second-place finish behind Germany, thwarting off Portugal because of the goal-differential tiebreak. Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 in a match that was played simultaneously with U.S. vs. Germany, but Portugal's -3 goal differential was well behind the U.S.'s even goal differential, meaning the U.S. will play on while Portugal will not. Ghana was also eliminated Thursday.
That's a win, a loss, and a draw for the U.S. in the first round of play. Despite sneaking into the next round via losing, it's a milestone for U.S. men's soccer. The advancement marks the first time the Americans have reached the knockout stage in consecutive World Cups.
The U.S. will next face Belgium, which beat South Korea 1-0 Thursday afternoon to advance. The match will take place Tuesday, July 1 at 4/3c and be broadcast by ESPN. Any American caught eating Belgian waffles that morning will be deported.
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