Both the United States and Portugal will be fielding a full lineup of 11 players when they take the field in a crucial group-stage match at the 2014 World Cup. But that won't stop the Group G clash from feeling like a game of 11 on CR7. With a chance to a secure a spot in the Round of 16 in Brazil, the U.S. men's national team will have to try to contain Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo at Arena Amazonia in Manaus on Sunday.
"We have a lot of respect for Cristiano. He's a great player. But I think you have to respect for the whole team of Portugal," U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones said on Friday. "When we stick together like a team and fight like we did it against Ghana, then I think we have chances to win this game."
Coming off a thrilling 2-1 win over Ghana in its opening game in Brazil, the United States has a chance to seal a spot a in the knockout stage with a win over Portugal. Having been thumped by Germany, 4-0, in its opener, Portugal arrived in Manaus in dire need of a positive result. A loss to the U.S. would eliminate Portugal from contention before it even played its final game in the "Group of Death."
Injuries and a suspension will force both teams to field a different starting 11 than in their openers. The United States will be without striker Jozy Altidore, who suffered a hamstring injury against Ghana. Portugal will be without Pepe, who was sent off against Germany, as well as injured defender Fabio Coentrao and injured forward Hugo Almeida. Ronaldo, the reigning Ballon d'or winner, has been dealing with lingering leg injuries but is in the starting lineup.
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06/22/2014 8:08 PM EDT
WATCH: Portugal Scores Stoppage Time Equalizer
Here's the Varela goal from Cristiano in the final seconds that saved Portugal's World Cup hopes: http://t.co/fglWiyBDrl— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 23, 2014
06/22/2014 7:56 PM EDT
In a stunning conclusion, Portugal and the U.S. tie 2-2 thanks to stoppage time goal from Silvestre Varela.
06/22/2014 7:53 PM EDT
With time running out, Portugal scores! Ronaldo sets it up with brilliant cross.
06/22/2014 7:50 PM EDT
Make That 5 Minutes
It is going to feel like 50 for U.S. fans.
06/22/2014 7:49 PM EDT
Four Minutes Of Added Time
Portugal is pushing everything toward the U.S. goal looking for an equalizer. Jurgen Klinsmann sends in Omar Gonzalez as another defender to try to hold 2-1 lead.
06/22/2014 7:47 PM EDT
GIF: Klinsmann's Reaction To Dempsey's Goal
(GIF via @CorkGaines)
06/22/2014 7:46 PM EDT
Howard punches clear on a high cross. Nani to take corner. It's headed out of danger by U.S.
06/22/2014 7:44 PM EDT
Portugal Free Kick
Ronaldo stands over it. Surprisingly, he doesn't shoot. He plays it short and Portugal attempts an attack on goal. It culminates with an offside call as Portugal pushed numbers toward Howard's goal.
06/22/2014 7:44 PM EDT
Twitter Reactions To Dempsey's Goal
THAT BOY CLINT DEMPSEY— American Outlaws (@Ryan_Alfieri) June 22, 2014
CLINT DEMPSEY Y'ALLLLLLL pic.twitter.com/8o41n918z3— SB Nation (@SBNation) June 22, 2014
Crying.... #Wow— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) June 22, 2014
Damn, Clint Dempsey is about to own this summer— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 22, 2014