With 11 days of the World Cup now completed, many of the 32 teams are beginning what will be their final matches in Brazil.
But while we've seen a number of notable nations bounced from contention already, a majority of the 32 teams still have everything to play for heading into the final matches of the group stage. From Monday on, it will be four matches per day with all of the eight groups sorting themselves out.
Let's highlight the Day 11 scores and break down what unfolded throughout Sunday in Brazil.
Day 11 Results
|2014 World Cup: Odds to Win|
Note: Complete odds to win for every team can be found at Odds Shark.
|2014 World Cup Group Standings|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2||0||0||2||-2||0|
Day 11 Recap
Who knew coming out of halftime that a draw would be so deflating for the Americans?
When Jurgen Klinsmann's squad came out of the locker room, it was sporting a 1-0 deficit after Nani scored on a gift-wrapped goal in the fifth minute. Conceding all three points to Portugal would put the U.S. seriously against the ropes in its finale against Germany.
But the USA stayed true to its form, which is resiliency and now late clutch moments.
After a slew of chances, including Michael Bradley being robbed of an equalizer by Portugal defender Ricardo Costa, the Americans drew level off the foot of Jermaine Jones. The 32-year-old stepped into a good look from about 30 yards out and ripped it into the net, as Bleacher Report captured:
Minutes later, Clint Dempsey put the U.S. in front, and it suddenly was moments away from stealing the victory. Then, Cristiano Ronaldo made up for a woeful performance with one play—he broke down the right side and crossed into Valera, who finished the equalizer seconds before the final whistle.
He was quiet for most of the 95-plus minutes, but Ronaldo came through when his team needed him most. Portugal was seconds away from elimination, and he propelled it.
It was just another big moment for elite players, as football writer Andy Mitten observed:
As inspiring as it was for Portugal to stay alive, Tim Howard's reaction after giving up the goal summed it up for the USA. As the ball whizzed past him, his hands went to his head in disbelief.
Still, Klinsmann and company can't be too upset with a draw and four points through two games in Group G—the "group of death." They can clinch a spot in the knockout stage with a draw against the Germans and can even advance with a loss if they receive help.
They're already looking forward to Germany, per U.S. Soccer:
Although the USA-Portugal showdown took many of the headlines, Sunday's slate didn't disappoint before that. Group H played its second matches, with Belgium toppling Russia in the closing minute of the first match.
Belgium and Russia played an uninspiring match for most of the 90 minutes. There were few true chances going either way, and it looked headed to a scoreless draw.
As the match reached crunch time, Belgium started finding success with scoring chance after scoring chance. The winner seemed inevitable, and it finally came when Eden Hazard found Divock Origi in the box for the Belgium winner.
Bleacher Report UK captured the moment:
For the second time in two matches, Belgium sputtered out of the gates. And for the second straight match, the result was in doubt until the closing moments. But it found a way to win, and that gives it six points through two matches—putting it in control of Group H.
In the second Group H match, Algeria needed a result in order to stay alive. It got much more than just a result, exploding on offense early and holding off South Korea for a 4-2 victory.
The offensive output was the most from an African side in the World Cup's history, per ESPN FC:
Three goals in the first 38 minutes proved to be just too much for South Korea. While it mounted a bit of a comeback by scoring early in the second half, Algeria bounced right back with a fourth goal to up the deficit again.
Algeria showed its poise throughout stretches against Belgium, and it brought it together well against South Korea. If it does so in its final group-stage match, it'll be on to the next round.
Portugal-USA might have stolen the show from Sunday's slate, but there was no shortage of enticing moments and exciting finishes across the entire trio of matches.
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