07/01/2014 06:36 pm ET Updated Jul 02, 2014

U.S. World Cup Run Ends In 'Heartbreaking' 2-1 Loss To Belgium In Extra Time (VIDEO)

There was no surrender from the United States. But there would be no victory either in its final appearance at the 2014 World Cup.

Belgium overcame a historic performance by U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard in a 2-1 win in the Round of 16 at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador on Tuesday. With Howard making one sensational save after the next, the elimination game remained scoreless through 90 minutes despite Belgium taking far more shots than the U.S. side. Howard's 16 saves were the most in a World Cup game in over 50 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

"It's heartbreaking," Howard told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap after the final whistle ended the 120-minute encounter. "I don't think we could have given any more. What a great game of football."

With reserve forward Romelu Lukaku providing a spark, Belgium finally got a ball past Howard in the fifth minute of extra time. Lukaku surged up the right wing, shrugging off U.S. defender Matt Besler before crossing the ball into the penalty area. Belgium's Kevin De Bruyne got to the ball and then drove a low right-footed shot past Howard.

Belgium appeared to seal its win when Lukaku added a second score in the 105th minute. The powerful 21-year-old striker, a teammate of Howard's at Everton, came in from the left wing and sent a powerful left-footed shot in at the nearest post. Instead of signifying the end of the match, the Red Devils' second score sparked a late wave of attack from the U.S. side.

Just two minutes later, 19-year-old midfielder Julian Green pulled back a goal for the U.S. with a brilliant right-footed volley while on the move in the Belgium penalty area.

The U.S. pushed for an equalizer with every second it had at its disposal after Green's sensational effort, coming perilously close with a set play on a free kick from outside the Belgium area. The valiant effort in the closing minutes went unrewarded as Belgium held on for the 2-1 win. Belgium will face Argentina in the quarterfinals on Saturday, July 5 at Nacional in Brasilia.

"It's a bummer," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told ESPN Jeremy Schaap. "We were so close. I think we can all be very, very proud of this team."



PHOTOS: USA vs Belgium