They had to do it the hard way, but in the end it was job done for the United States on Thursday as the Americans advanced to the knockout round of the World Cup for the second consecutive tournament despite falling to Germany, 1-0, at the Arena Pernambuco.
After earning a huge 2-1 win over the Ghanaians in their opening match on June 16 and suffering a gut-wrenching last-second 2-2 draw with Portugal last Sunday, Jurgen Klinsmann's side needed only a draw to ensure their place in the round of 16 as Group G runners-up.
It wasn't the greatest display of football from the clearly fatigued U.S. squad as they struggled through much of the match to create any kind of quality scoring chances, but went into the break level at 0-0.
Thomas Muller broke the deadlock for Germany in the 55th minute with his fourth goal of the tournament to send Germany to the top of the group with seven points, while the U.S. finished second with four points and advanced thanks to Portugal's 2-1 win over Ghana in Brasilia.
The Americans will face the winner of Group H on Tuesday, while Germany will play the Group H runners-up on Monday.
More to follow...