SALVADOR, Brazil — Belgium defeated the U.S. 2-1 in a World Cup knockout game in Brazil on Tuesday, advancing to the quarterfinals.
All three goals were scored in extra time.
But perhaps the vanquished United States soccer team can rest in the knowledge that if the World Cup was decided on guts, it would surely be lifting the trophy.
For 120 minutes of its ultimately unsuccessful last-16 clash with Belgium, each one of Jurgen Klinsmann’s men left everything on the field in Salvador.
From the second they went 2-0 down in extra time thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, the rearguard started.
Julian Green’s goal offered the nation a lifeline and energized its fatigued players with a quarter of an hour to play.
Two golden chances came and went, and with it the hopes and dreams of a nation as Belgium claimed their place in the quarterfinals thanks to the 2-1 win.