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updated: 6/26/2014 7:01 PM

U.S. advances in World Cup; faces Belgium Tuesday

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  • United States defender Omar Gonzalez celebrates after qualifying for the next World Cup round following their 1-0 loss to Germany.

      United States defender Omar Gonzalez celebrates after qualifying for the next World Cup round following their 1-0 loss to Germany.
    associated press

  • United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard can not stop a shot by Germany's Thomas Mueller to score his side's first goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.

      United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard can not stop a shot by Germany's Thomas Mueller to score his side's first goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • Germany's Miroslav Klose and United States' DaMarcus Beasley (7) go up for a header during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.

      Germany's Miroslav Klose and United States' DaMarcus Beasley (7) go up for a header during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • A US fan lifts his beer mug prior to the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.

      A US fan lifts his beer mug prior to the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • A US supporter uses an American flag to protect herself against the rain during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.

      A US supporter uses an American flag to protect herself against the rain during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • A USA supporter, dressed as "Wonder Woman" waits in the rain for the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.

      A USA supporter, dressed as "Wonder Woman" waits in the rain for the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard goes down to make a save on Germany's Thomas Mueller during the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.

      United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard goes down to make a save on Germany's Thomas Mueller during the group G World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • United States' Jermaine Jones, left, and Germany's Benedikt Hoewedes go for a header during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.

      United States' Jermaine Jones, left, and Germany's Benedikt Hoewedes go for a header during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • Andreas Kunkel, 20 of Alexandria, Va., celebrates the German team's introduction at a World Cup game between the United States and Germany, Thursday, June 26, 2014, during a viewing party sponsored by the German Embassy at Dupont Circle in Washington. Kunkel formerly lived in the German town of Wassertrudingen.

      Andreas Kunkel, 20 of Alexandria, Va., celebrates the German team's introduction at a World Cup game between the United States and Germany, Thursday, June 26, 2014, during a viewing party sponsored by the German Embassy at Dupont Circle in Washington. Kunkel formerly lived in the German town of Wassertrudingen.
    Associated Press

  • United States' Fabian Johnson, left, and Germany's Lukas Podolski challenge for the ball during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.

      United States' Fabian Johnson, left, and Germany's Lukas Podolski challenge for the ball during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Germany at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

RECIFE, Brazil -- The United States reached the knockout stage of consecutive World Cups for the first time, just not the way the Americans wanted.

Germany beat the U.S. 1-0 Thursday in soggy Recife on Thomas Mueller's 55th-minute goal to win Group G, but the Americans held onto second place when Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1 in a game played simultaneously in Brasilia.

The Germans, three-time World Cup champions, finished with seven points, while the U.S. had four after allowing a 95th-minute goal against Portugal on Sunday in a 2-2 draw. Portugal also had four, but the Americans advanced from the so-called "Group of Death" because their goal difference was even and the Portuguese were minus three.

The Americans will play the Group H winner, likely Belgium put possibly Algeria, Monday in Salvador.

The Americans sprinted out onto the field at the final whistle, about 30 seconds before the other game ended and made advancement official. Brad Davis raised both hands and led the applauding U.S. team to the side of the stadium where the majority of American supporters sat.

Just reaching Arena Pernambuco was an accomplishment. A tropical downpour flooded roads in a beach city known as the Brazilian Venice, and the U.S. bus had to make its way through ankle-to-thigh-high water that slowed traffic and left some cars stalled. Rain fell throughout much of the game, and there were scattered empty red seats.

The game marked meetings of several former international teammates facing each other, an unusual occurrence. American right back Fabian Johnson started for Germany in the 2009 European Under-21 Championship alongside three of Germany's starters Thursday: Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann starred for West Germany when it won the 1990 World Cup and coached his homeland to the 2006 World Cup semifinals. His top assistant that year was Joachim Loew, who succeeded him as Germany's coach after the tournament. The two exchange a hug after the final whistle.

There had been fears before the match that the U.S. and Germany would not attack each other too much and be satisfied with a draw, which would advance both nations.

The Americans never came close to scoring until second-half injury time.

The script was similar to 2002, when the U.S. opened with a 3-2 win over Portugal, then tied South Korea 1-1 and lost to Poland 3-0. The Americans advanced 12 years ago because South Korea defeated the Portuguese on an 80th minute goal.

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