Just when we thought he was going home, Ronaldo delivered the perfect cross for Silvestre Varela to head past Tim Howard in the USA goal and keep alive Portugal’s slender World Cup hopes. Clint Dempsey, substituted after thinking he had struck the winner, could only look on from the sidelines.
Dempsey’s second goal of the tournament gave USA the lead after a fantastic strike by Jermaine Jones had cancelled out Nani’s early opener for Portugal.
Ronaldo was firing blanks, misconnecting with inviting headers and generally looking out of sorts. However, with the last move of the game, he sent in an exquisite cross from the right for Varela to power home a close-range header (pictured).
Here’s something to confirm that this World Cup is the ultimate goals fest. Algeria, who in their previous game broke a barren spell that had lasted over 500 minutes, stretching back to the 1986 World Cup, went on the rampage to stun South Korea 4-2.
In the day’s other game an Eden Hazard-inspired Belgium, many people’s dark horses, confirmed their progress into the knockout stages with a 1-0 win against Russia thanks to a goal from substitute Divock Origi.
You Golden Booty: Contenders for the top scorer’s prize …
3 – Muller (Germany), Van Persie, Robben (both Holland), Benzema (France), E Valencia (Ecuador).
2 – Neymar (Brazil), Messi (Argentina), Cahill (Australia), Mandzukic (Croatia), Suarez (Uruguay), Gervinho (Ivory Coast), Rodriguez (Colombia), Dempsey (USA), A Ayew (Ghana).