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US soccer falls to Germany, still advances to World Cup’s next round

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Ricardo Mazalan / AP

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

Updated Thursday, June 26, 2014 | 10:57 a.m.

The United States soccer team got the results it was looking for today at the World Cup. There’s another game to play for the red, white and blue.

Despite losing 1-0 to Germany in its final pool-play game, the Americans advanced to the 16-team knockout round of the tournament on a tie-breaker when Portugal beat Ghana, 2-1.

The U.S. and Portugal had identical records in pool play, but the U.S. lost by one goal to Germany and Portugal suffered a 4-0 defeat.

Germany won the group, which before the tournament was dubbed the “Group of Death,” because of the four quality teams fighting for two spots in the next round. The U.S. had the lowest betting odds to win the group but took second in what could be considered a positive showing.

Germany outplayed the US most of the game, scoring the winning goal in the 55th minute of Thomas Mueller's fourth goal of the tournament. He buried a rebound shot past US goalie Tim Howard and into the bottom corner from about 20 yards out to create a tense final 25 minutes to the game for the Americans.

That's especially true after Ghana scored to tie its game with Portugal, 1-1. A Ghana win would have eliminated the United States. But Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the sport's best players, scored in the 80th minute to give the US some breathing room.

The U.S. will face Belgium at 1 p.m. Tuesday. It's the first time they have advanced to the knockout round in consecutive World Cups.

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