Ronaldo's last minute assist saves Portugal, for now
MANAUS, Brazil, June 22 (Xinhua/Sun) -- Cristiano Ronaldo's last minute assist found a charging Varela and the latter stormed home a thundering header to secure Portugal a 2-2 draw with the United States in a World Cup Group G match on Sunday.
In the last of the 5 added minutes of the game, Ronaldo proved himself the savior of his team as he sent a long range cross into the area and found second half substitute Varela. Varela's powerful header left a desperate American goalkeeper Howard helpless.
The draw gave Portugal the first point from two games, levelling with Ghana but three points behind Germany and the United States, both with four points.
The Portuguese team still has the chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. Their last game will be against Ghana while Germany and the United States will clash for the top place of the group.
If Germany and Jurgen Klinsmann's American team play to a draw then both Portugal and Ghana will be eliminated from the World Cup finals.
It was a tightly fought game with both teams having plenty of scoring chances. The Porgtuguese team enjoyed a good start as Nani opened the scoring only 5 minutes into the play. The winger capitalised on a defensive error by Geoff Cameron and fired it past American goalkeeper Tim Howard in the box. The Americans fought hard and created several scoring chances but failed to convert any of them in the first half.
After the restart of the game, the American kept on attacking, trying to get an equalizer. In the 64th minute, Jones stormed a long range shot just out of the area to beat the defence line and goalkeeper of the Portuguese team to level the score at 1-1.
The Americans were apparently not satisfied with a draw. They pushed forward and threatened the Portuguese team time and again. At the 81st minute, Dempsey finally put the Americans 2-1 ahead as he chested the ball into an empty Portugues goal.
It seemed the Portuguest would follow the steps of Spain and England to bow out of the World Cup, then came the prefect cross from Ronaldo, in the 95th minute, the last one of the 5 added minutes. The last round of Group G match will be played on June 26.