World Cup: Team USA advances despite Germany defeat
(CNN) — Mission accomplished — Team USA booked its place in the last-16 of the World Cup after escaping from one of the tournament’s toughest groups.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s men slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Germany in Thursday’s final Group G game but still qualified despite Portugal defeating Ghana 2-1.
Thomas Muller’s second-half strike condemned the U.S. to defeat following a rain-soaked contest in Recife.
But Cristiano Ronaldo’s late strike for Portugal inflicted defeat on Ghana and ensured the Americans qualified in second place on goal difference.
The U.S. will now travel to Salvador where its opponent will be Belgium on Tuesday, while Germany will face Algeria on Monday.
For Klinsmann, a man who won the 1990 World Cup as a player with West Germany and coached the national side to the semifinals in 2006, this was always going to be an emotional occasion.
Sitting on the U.S. bench just meters away from his old friend Joachim Low, the man who worked as his assistant eight years ago, the game had plots and sub-plots galore.
“We created too few chances, but it’s still fantastic to go through,” Klinsmann said.
“Everybody said we had no chance, but we’ve taken it and we’re now in the last 16.”