While it's flooding in Recife ahead of the United States' World Cup match against Germany, the weather is perfect in Brasilia ahead of Portugal's match against Ghana, a game that could have serious repercussions for the U.S. as it attempts to advance to the next round.
[World Cup live blog: United States vs. Germany]
Goal difference and scorelines aside, the U.S. controls its destiny: a win or a draw against Germany sees the U.S. through to the Round of 16. Should the U.S. lose though, things get more complicated, with scorelines and goal differentials coming into play as both Portugal and Ghana look to get the necessary result to see their teams advance.
Full-time! Portugal 2 Ghana 1: An entertaining, tense match in its own right, this scoreline means that the U.S. has advanced to the second round!
91' Portugal 2 Ghana 1: Cristiano almost grabs another for Portugal. Ghana have wilted.
86' Portugal 2 Ghana 1: Time is running out on this match. Just over five minutes left and Ghana need to find two goals, while Portugal needs to go on a massive run.
83' Portugal 2 Ghana 1: Dauda once again finds Cristiano Ronaldo with the ball just outisde the six-yard box, but this time he manages to parry away Ronaldo's shot.
80' Portugal 2 Ghana 1: Dauda, who has looked nervous the entire game, mishandles a ball and it falls to Cristiano Ronaldo just in front of the six-yard box! Goal Portugal! Portugal are up up 2-1, and U.S. fans can relax. For a few minutes, at least.
77' Portugal 1 Ghana 1: Ghana are grasping at chances. Badu has several players moving into the box, but forces a shot from distance. Well wide.
70' Portugal 1 Ghana 1: Portugal are pushing for goals and Ghana are beginning to look stressed under the Portuguese attack. That said, Ghana are still finding solid opportunities.
62' Portugal 1 Ghana 1: Ghana has a chance to go ahead! Waris loses his marker, but can't get his header on target! Missed opportunity!
56' Portugal 1 Ghana 1: Ghana grab an equalizer! More nervy moments for U.S. fans as Ghana begins to see momentum move on its side. With a 2-1 victory, and 1-0 U.S. loss, Ghana would advance instead of the U.S.
U.S. Update: Germany has gone up 1-0 thanks to a Muller strike! Nervy moments for U.S. fans, as the goal differential gets tighter.
51' Portugal 1 Ghana 0: Ghana are doing well to build from the back, dominating possession early in the second half. That said, the Portuguese defense is holding firm, forcing Ghana to settle for long-distance strikes.
47' Portugal 1 Ghana 0: Ghana are pressuring Portugal from the back early on in this half. Beto looks unsteady.
The second half is underway! Going into the second half, neither team makes a substitution.
Halftime: Portugal 1 Ghana 0: Portugal go into the half with the lead, but they're still a long way from advancing to the next round. Given the current scorelines, the U.S. would advance to the Round of 16 in second position.
43' Portugal 1 Ghana 0: Gyan receives the ball just outside the six-yard box, but seems to go down looking for a penalty. There was contact, but the referee isn't having any of it. He really should have gone for goal.
36' Portugal 1 Ghana 0: Chance! A perfect cross connects with Gyan, but Gyan can't get his header on target!
U.S. Update: That goal is exactly what U.S. fans want to see. Given current scorelines, the U.S. would finish with 5 points, above 4 points for Portugal and 1 point for Ghana. That said, should the U.S. fall to Germany, the match could involve goal difference. Portugal are now -3, the U.S. +1.
29' Portugal 1 Ghana 0: Goal for Portugal! This is dramatic for the U.S. Boye with a disastrous defensive error. He attempts to clear a Portuguese cross, but instead deflects it into goal! 1-0, Portugal!
U.S. Update: While Germany attacked from the outset, the U.S. seems to have outlasted that initial storm. The U.S. is seeing more possession.
28': This game is all Cristiano Ronaldo at the moment. Ronaldo, playing in a free role, is giving the Ghanian defense countless problems. Ronaldo seemed clear on the break, but passed to a teammate who crossed off-target.
23': Gyan gets on the end of a cross for Ghana, but Beto has no trouble dealing with the ball.
19': So close! Cristiano Ronaldo somehow winds up unmarked and receives a perfect cross in the box! He heads towards goal, but heads directly at Dauda! Still 0-0!
U.S. Update: Given the current scorelines, scoreless in both matches, the U.S. would advance. That said, Germany have already had a number of quality chances and the U.S. defense looks unsteady.
12': Cristiano Ronaldo has a free kick in his favored position just outside of the 18-yard box, but Dauda parries it away easily. Corner kick for Ghana.
10': Ghana are finally beginning to find their way into this match. Portugal are still finding opportunities on the counter, but Ghana are beginning to send probing balls into Portugal's final third.
6': A near chance for Ronaldo! Ronaldo seems to have attempted a cross, but it drifts near the keeper and hits post! What a start that would have been.
5': So far a nervy game with both teams still in the mist of feeling one another out. Very little seems to separate these teams, though Portugal look better from the start.
Kickoff! We're underway in Brasilia! Will this result impact whether the U.S. makes it to the next round?
Portugal XI: Beto, Alves, Pepe, Veloso, William, Ronaldo, Moutinho, Eder, Nani, Amorim, Pereira.
Ghana XI: Dauda, Gyan, Atsu, Badu, Ayew, Rabiu, Waris, Mensah, Asamoah, Boye, Afful.
Preamble: While Portugal recaptured a bit of momentum thanks to its last minute equalizer against the U.S. in the second game of the group stage, the Ghanaian team has fallen to internal strife. Sulley Muntari, already unavailable for the Portugal match due to yellow card accumulation, was sent home for squad disciplinary reasons. Similarly, Kevin Prince Boateng, who many expected to start and play a crucial role in the team's campaign, was also sent home for the rest of the World Cup for similar reasons.
In such an unpredictable World Cup, this match is up for grabs, as is the second spot in Group G.
Not sure what needs to happen Thursday for Team USA to advance to the knockout stage? Here's a complete breakdown of the scenarios: