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Clint Dempsey gives United States a 2-1 lead over Portugal with huge goal (Video)

Portugal rescues 2-2 draw with US at World Cup
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United States' Clint Dempsey, left, celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday, June 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

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After an early mistake from defender Geoff Cameron, the United States looked to have a long way back to come away with a win against Portugal in their second match in Group G. Some 75 minutes later, Clint Dempsey gave them an improbable lead.

With the score knotted at 1-1 in the 81st minute, a series of deflections gave midfielder Graham Zusi an opening for a simple cross to the U.S. captain for an easy finish off his body for the 2-1 advantage. Check it out below:

It was Dempsey's second goal of the 2014 World Cup after his first-minute strike against Ghana in the U.S.'s opening match. It certainly wasn't as pretty as the earlier equalizer from Jermaine Jones, but it looked to give the United States a huge advantage and potentially a spot in the Round of 16.

Unfortunately for the Americans, that qualification will now depend on Thursday's final group-stage match against Germany. A goal by Portuguese winger Silvestre Varela on a cross from Cristiano Ronaldo in the final moments of stoppage time ended the match in a 2-2 tie and ensures that the United States will see their fate decided as late as possible.

Regardless, Dempsey's goal stands as a major moment in the tournament and could be a key step towards qualification. The United States might just need more like it than otherwise planned.

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Eric Freeman is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at efreeman_ysports@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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