Team U.S.A.'s magical run at World Cup ends in the Round of 16

By Ian Sacks,

The U.S. soccer team captivated the nation with its play over the last few weeks at the World Cup in Brazil. Their magical run came to a halt on Tuesday as the Americans fell to Belgium 2-1 in the Round of 16.

Belgium held a sizable advantage in scoring opportunities, attempting 38 shots, while the U.S. managed 14. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard made 16 saves as he did everything he could to help his team advance. His 16 saves is the most by a goalkeeper in a World Cup game since 1966.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Howard said after the game, reports The New York Times. “It just hurts.”

None of the goals were scored in regulation, and the two teams entered extra time in a 0-0 tie.

Belgium got on the scoreboard first with a goal from midfielder Kevin De Bruyne in the 93rd minute of action.

The lead doubled when forward Romelu Lukaku found the back of the net in the 105th minute.

Two minutes later, American midfielder Julian Green cut the deficit in half with a goal on a pass from midfielder Michal Bradley.

The U.S. did not score again, as they fell in heartbreaking fashion.

The U.S. controlled the time of possession, holding the ball for 53 percent of the game. Belgium was whistled for 27 fouls, while the Americans committed 11, according to ESPN.

The U.S. bows out of the World Cup in the Round of 16 for the second consecutive tournament. Belgium advances to the quarterfinals, where it will take on Lionel Messi and Argentina.

image courtesy of Roger Wong/INFphoto.com

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