Despite a record-setting performance in goal by Tim Howard, the United States lost to Belgium 2-1 in the World Cup knockout round Tuesday in Salvador, Brazil. Belgium scored twice in extra time, eliminating USA step shy of the quarterfinals for the second consecutive tournament.
Two minutes after he entered the game, Julian Green, a 19-year-old reserve for Bayern Munich, scored the only U.S. goal in the 107th minute, after which the Americans launched an all-out assault on the Belgians that failed.
Howard collected 16 saves, most in World Cup history, but couldn’t thwart two shots, the first by Kevin De Bruyne shortly after extra time commenced, the second by Romelu Lukaku.
USA appeared doomed, trailing 2-0 until Green’s goal gave life. The Americans played their best soccer after that, but couldn’t equalize despite numerous opportunities. The best chance came on a free kick when Michael Bradley played the ball to the Sounders’ Clint Dempsey, whose shot was a tad too firm, allowing 6-foot-6 Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois to block the attempt.
Belgium, which will play Argentina in the quarterfinals, dominated, taking 38 shots to the USA’s 14, including 27 on goal to nine. Belgium had a 53 percent to 47 percent edge in time of possession and had far greater technical superiority.
DeAndre Yedlin of the Sounders entered as a reserve in the 31st minute and played most of the match, replacing Fabian Johnson, who strained a hamstring. He offered several crosses from his position on the right flank, but his teammates could not get in position to convert. Seattle teammate Dempsey had at least three good looks at scores that went awry.