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U.S. Bounced Out Of World Cup By Belgium, Ending Team's Run

The U.S. team's dramatic and unexpected run in the World Cup came to an end today in Salvador, Brazil.

For 90 minutes, the score was tied at 0-0. Belgium attacked and attacked, but U.S. goal keeper Tim Howard held them off with save after save in spectacular fashion. By some counts, Howard had the most saves in World Cup history.

But as the game went into extra time, however, Howard couldn't hold back the attacks.

Belgium scored its first goal a couple of minutes in, and then quickly added another one.

The U.S. made a late run, showing spark and launching aggressive attacks. Coming off the bench, Julian Green pounded one into the net, giving the U.S. life. But it wasn't enough.

Belgium won 2-1 in 120 minutes of play, ending a better-than-expected run by the U.S.

Remember, before this tournament started, the U.S. wasn't expected to make it out of the group stage. They were in the so-called "Group of Death," but they squeezed into the knockout round by beating Ghana — which had knocked the U.S. out of two World Cups — and by tying with the world-class Portuguese team. They lost against the No. 2 ranked Germany and today, they lost to Belgium, which will face Argentina in the quarterfinals.

We live-blogged the game today. If you want a play-by-play, keep reading.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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