World Cup 2014: 5 Best TV Moments From Portugal vs. USA

 AP Images

How close was the U.S. to pulling off the unimaginable? Mere seconds. A win against Portugal would have yielded them a berth in the knock-out stage, but just as extra time was about to expire, Cristiano Ronaldo delivered a cross that dashed their all but verified hopes. It was a gripping match with everything on the line for the Yanks. See below for the rousing comeback and eventual deflating header that drew the teams even at two.

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 1. Ronaldo Spins

What marks a world-class player? An ability to score and footwork that marvels. Ronaldo displays the latter here, early in the match.

2. A Fearful Clearance

With Portugal pressing, a big clearance was needed. Instead, the ball was booted up, right to Nani for an early first score.

3. Jones Gets Through

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When a team is continuously putting shots on goal, something is bound to find its way in, which was the case for this 63rd minute Jermaine Jones rip.

4. Body Work

Clint Dempsey, the U.S.'s lone striker, had been looking to score in his second match — and did, with an 81st minute deflection.

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5. Last Ditch Effort

The U.S. had been holding off, letting extra time expire, but in the 94th, with the seconds ticking away, Ronaldo found the ball and led a last-minute charge for Portugal. His cross to Varela for the header was a thing of beauty, even if it brought such heartbreak.

The U.S. now face Germany on Thursday at noon ET/9 a.m. PT on ESPN.

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