USA Soccer Advances to Knockout Round in Consecutive World Cups for First Time

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffJune 26, 2014

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 26: Clint Dempsey of the United States acknowledges the fans after being defeated by Germany 1-0 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group G match between the United States and Germany at Arena Pernambuco on June 26, 2014 in Recife, Brazil.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

While largely unimpressive in losing 1-0 to Germany in their final group-stage match at the 2014 World Cup, the United States Men's National Team advanced to the knockout round in consecutive Cups for the first time ever, per ESPN Stats & Info

The USA's second-place finish in Group G this year comes after they won Group C at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Much like in 2010, when a stoppage-time goal propelled America to the next round, their fate this year wasn't sealed until the nervy moments of their group-closing game. 

However, unlike manager Bob Bradley's 2010 squad, new boss Jurgen Klinsmann's side used their signature late game-winning goal in their opening contest, an 86th-minute headed score by reserve defender John Brooks to top Ghana.

From there, the U.S. nearly clinched going through during their second outing but conceded a 95th-minute goal to Portugal, ultimately dropping two points in an exciting 2-2 draw.

Those results set the stage for a decisive match day to conclude Group G.

Portugal defeated Ghana 2-1, but the win was not enough for Cristiano Ronaldo's side to make up for the 4-0 thumping they previously suffered to Germany.

So while Portugal ended group play level with the USA on four points, their minus-three goal difference was bested by America's even mark.

Looking forward, the USA takes on Group H winners Belgium in the knockout round next Tuesday.