Portugal kept themselves alive in the World Cup as Silvestre Varela netted an equaliser in the dying moments to register a 2-2 draw with USA.
Saturday’s 2-2 draw between Germany and Ghana meant that a defeat for the Portuguese would see them eliminated from the World Cup.
Nani gave Portugal the lead after just five minutes when Geoff Cameron sliced an attempted clearance across the face of his goal to Nani, who blasted it past Tim Howard.
Howard was fortunate not to let Nani score again when he fumbled the Manchester United winger’s onto the post but more than made up for it when he turned Eder’s attempt from the rebound over the bar.
But the Americans started to grow into the game and started the second half on the front foot.
Jermaine Jones equalised with a wonderful curling shot before Clint Dempsey put the USA into the lead with less than ten minutes to go. Portugal were rocking.
Portugal piled the pressure on and deep deep into the five minutes of stoppage time, Varela headed in to keep Portugal in the competition, mathematically at least.
They will now have to beat Ghana and hope Germany beat USA whilst seeing a swing of five goals, as Portugal’s goal difference took a battering in the opening game 4-0 defeat by Germany.
Elsewhere, it was better news for fellow Europeans, Belgium.
Despite not being at their best, a late goal from Lille striker Divock Origi see’s them qualify from the group following a 1-0 win over Russia.
The Belgians were at times laboured in their play but again the substitutes made the difference as first Kevin Mirallas of Everton hit the post and then the 19-year-old Lille striker scored the winner.
Algeria gave themselves a good chance of qualifying from that group and in the process became the first African team to score four goals in a single game at the World Cup finals as they beat South Korea 4-2.
Goals from Islam Slimani, Rafick Halliche, Abdelmoumene Djabou and Yacine Brahimi gave the Desert Foxes and impressive win to move them up to second with a game to go.
Algeria now know that a win over Russia will see them qualify from the group. Fabio Capello’s men will have to win and win by more goals than South Korea, who face Belgium, who just need a point to top the group.
Today at the World Cup…
Group A and Group B reach their conclusion.
The Netherlands face Chile with the winners taking top spot in the group meaning they are likely to avoid Brazil in the next round.
Spain face Australia in a battle to avoid finishing bottom of the group.
Hosts Brazil face an out of sorts Cameroon knowing that a draw will see them qualify, and a win will see them win the group. The Brazilians are yet to fire on all cylinders and will be hoping tonight see’s them achieve that.
Mexico face Croatia in a winner takes all match. A draw could see both teams qualify if Brazil lose, but presuming they don’t, a draw would see Mexico qualify and Croatia going home. Croatia simply have to win to qualify.
Both teams could top the group should Brazil fail to win. Mexico have the better chance as if Brazil lose, they just need to draw. If Brazil win, Mexico could finish top if they win by two more goals than the hosts.