The United States of America have been cruelly robbed at the last second from a direct place in the Round of 16 as Portugal climbed back to keep their World Cup dream alive in a 2-2 draw.
In any other generation, Cristiano Ronaldo would be the best player in the world. There is no doubt that without Argentinean superstar Lionel Messi on this footballing globe, the egoistic and extremely skilful Ronaldo would be heads and shoulders above the rest. However, just like Messi, he has been much maligned over the years for his sometimes-mediocre performances when representing his homeland Portugal.
And yet against the high-performing USA in this World Cup he has proven yet again why he sits on such a high pedestal in world football. Needing to win or at least get a point out of the match, Portugal came out of the blocks early and after only 5 minutes Nani capitalised on an American defensive mistake to put them in the lead. However, the Americans have been playing some great football in Brazil and after Jermaine Jones scored from a sensational strike in the 64th minute and captain Clint Dempsey bundled over a cross in the 81st, it looked like Portugal were out of the World Cup.
But, like so often at these championships, there was a final twist in the tail.
Ronaldo himself delivered a perfect cross for striker Silvestre Varela to latch onto only 30 seconds from full-time to turn the American celebrations into flowing tears. However, there were no celebrations from Ronaldo, and there is the resounding feeling at this World Cup of an incredibly skilful superstar desperately trying to push out from a Portuguese team that is anything but super.
Final Result: 2-2
Man of the Match: Tim Howard (USA)