For the U.S., it seemed as if Christiano Ronaldo of Portugal had gone cold. For 94 minutes, the world-wide soccer superstar looked out of place, missing shots on the net by embarrassingly large margins and missing easy passes, even miffing on a metaphorical layup right in front of the goal.
But all it took was one final second of added time for Portugal to dash the Americans’ hopes of advancing early, managing to pull the draw in the match.
Portugal went up early in the fifth minute when the United States’ defense had a bad miscommunication, leaving the door wide open for Portugal’s Nani to toe-tap the ball into the net. The score remained 1-0 in Portugal’s favor at the half, but in the 64th minute, Jermaine Jones made it 1-1 with a curling shot after a cross from Graham Zusi, who made his World Cup starting debut in place of Jozy Atidore who is out with a hamstring injury.
Then Clint Dempsey, who is playing with a broken nose after last week’s match with Ghana, put his belly to the ball right in front of the net off yet another Zusi assist, putting the U.S. up 2-1 in the 81st minute.
At the end of 90 minutes, it seemed as if the United States was going to walk away with the win and the lock to advance to the next round of 16. But a literal last-second assist from Ronaldo to Varela for the Portuguese goal in the 95th minute tied up the match 2-2, which is how it all ended.
Portugal now has a point on the board in Group G along with Ghana, and the U.S. sits with 4 points along with Germany. The U.S. will play the Germans on Thursday to determine the two teams that advance to the next round. The U.S. only needs to tie with Germany to advance, but even with a loss, should Portugal beat or tie with Ghana, the U.S. would still advance.
'Melo likely to opt out of final year with Knicks, eyes Chicago
NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony is putting himself on the free agent market.
Anthony has informed the New York Knicks of his long-expected plans, two people with knowledge of the details said Sunday.
Anthony has a Monday deadline to terminate the final year of his contract. He filed the paperwork on Friday, one of the people told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no official announcements were made.
Anthony has repeatedly said he planned to explore free agency this summer. Team president Phil Jackson told the All-Star forward after the season he may want to delay the decision and play out the final year of his deal, which would have paid him $23.3 million, but Anthony is going ahead with his previous plans.
He told the Knicks he was sticking to his intentions during a recent meeting in Los Angeles with Jackson, general manager Steve Mills and new coach Derek Fisher, and has now made it official.
He will be eligible to negotiate with teams starting July 1.
Teams such as Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Miami have been mentioned as potential suitors for Anthony, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who led the NBA in scoring in 2012-13.
Anthony has never said he wanted to leave New York but said his biggest priority is signing with a team that he believes can contend for championships.
The Knicks went 37-45 last season, the first time Anthony missed the playoffs in his 11-year career, and have little financial ability to upgrade the roster this summer.
The Knicks can offer Anthony, whom they acquired from Denver in a blockbuster trade in February 2011, more than $20 million more than any team. But Anthony has said he would be willing to take less than a maximum salary for a chance to win, and Jackson has said he hopes Anthony sticks to that.
Jackson and Fisher have said the Knicks want Anthony back, but that the team would be prepared for whatever happened.
Anthony never truly got to experience the full free agency process, signing an extension of his rookie contract in 2006, then extending that deal as a condition of the trade to New York, and has said that is something that interests him.