The U.S. is in control of its World Cup destiny.
Ghana shocked many by holding World Cup favorites Germany to a 2-2 draw on Saturday, giving the U.S. a window to advance to the knockout stages with a win over Portugal on Sunday evening.
André Ayew's 54th minute goal pulled Ghana back into the game after Mario Götze provided Die Mannschaft with a lead. Asamoah Gyan then gave Ghana a stunning 2-1 lead in the 63rd minute.
Miroslav Klose did what he does best, however, poaching a goal on the back post to not only draw the Germans level, but also give him 15 World Cup goals -- tying Ronaldo for most all-time. Klose became just the third player to score in four World Cup tournaments.
The result gave Germany four points, just one ahead of the U.S., and gives the Americans the best scenario possible heading into their second group game.
Can the U.S. capitalize?
In other games on Saturday...
* Argentina needed some magic from Lionel Messi to steal a win over Iran. Messi, who has long been compared to Argentine legend Diego Maradona, added to his own World Cup lore with a stoppage time winner in the 1-0 win.
Messi took a simple touch on top of the box to create space from the defender and then curled a shot into the far post, finally breaking through an Iranian side that had defended well and given Argentina everything it could handle.
The goal pushed Argentina through to the knockout stages. See the full highlights here.
* Nigeria knocked Bosnia and Herzegovina from the tournament with a controversial 1-0 win in Group F. The Super Eagles scored on a goal that may have been aided by a foul in the run up to the finish, and Edin D¿eko had a goal wrongly called back for offsides.
D¿eko had another golden chance at the death, but he could not finish and Bosnia will be headed home at the conclusion of group play.
On tap in today's games...
12 p.m. ABC - Belgium vs. Russia - The Red Devils can go through with a win over Russia, but will face a difficult task against a stingy team that needs a result following a disappointing draw against Korea. Belgium is one of the dark horse picks of the tournament, but its golden generation did not look overly-impressive in a win over Algeria.
Keep an eye on: Belgium's Eden Hazard, the Chelsea midfielder capable of creating a goal in any moment. Has 23 goals in two seasons in the EPL after scoring 20 in his final year with Lille in France's Ligue 1. Hazard should cause fits for Russia today.
3 p.m. ABC - South Korea vs. Algeria - South Korea was able to snag a point against Russia to stay very much in the hunt in Group H, and a win over Algeria would give them life going into the final round of games. Algeria will be fighting to stave off elimination.
Keep an eye on: Algeria's Saphir Taïder, a young player who is beginning to make a name for himself with Inter Milan in Italy's Serie A.
6 p.m. ABC - U.S. vs. Portugal - We'll further break this game down in a blog later today, but the U.S. will face a crucial challenge in replacing injured forward Jozy Altidore to try to take advantage of a hurting Portuguese squad.
Portugal will be missing central defender Pepe (red card), left back Fabio Coentrao (groin) and likely forward Hugo Almeida (thigh). Goalkeeper Rui Patricio is also suffering from a thigh injury, while defender Bruno Alves did not practice Saturday due to a sore leg. Oh, and Cristiano Ronaldo has been suffering from a knee ailment.
Keep an eye on: U.S. forward Clint Dempsey, who could play a vital role in this game simply by where he is positioned on the pitch. If Dempsey is alone up top, he'll need a high work rate despite a broken nose, and if he sits in the false nine role behind a replacement for Altidore (Chris Wondolowski or Aron Johannsson, perhaps) or paired with them, then Dempsey's creative play will become even more integral.
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