Portugal score an equalizer at the death to fend off World Cup elimination against the U.S.

Brooks Peck

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The U.S. thought they had come back from 1-0 down against Portugal to win their second consecutive World Cup match and seal a place in the knockout stage with a Clint Dempsey goal in the 81st minute. But just before the final whistle, Cristiano Ronaldo finally made his game-changing presence known with a picture perfect cross to Varela, who headed in an equalizer at the death.

That goal saved Portugal from the brink of elimination and gives them a chance to reach the knockout stage with a win over Ghana. Germany and the U.S. are now both on four points and will play each other in the final group-stage round.

Up until that final moment, Ronaldo was again largely anonymous in this match, as he was against Germany in Portugal's 4-0 loss to start the tournament. Perhaps this get him playing like himself again, though.