Silvestre Varela’s injury-time goal sustained Portugal’s hopes of staying at the World Cup until- at least- 1st July, after playing out to a 2-all draw with the USA in Manaus.
Portugal took an early lead through Nani, but Jermaine Jones’s superb goal restored parity just after the hour, before Clint Dempsey pulled the Europeans ahead .
The Seattle Sounders’s forward’s goal looked destined to guide the USMNT into the knock-out phase of the tournament, before Varela dived to meet Ronaldo’s cross to help coach Paulo Bento’s men claim a vital point.
Portugal now banks on a Germany win over USA to help them stand a chance of reaching the last-16, but not without beating Ghana in their final group game.
A draw between Germany and coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA, who had opened with a late win over Ghana, will see both through.
“It’s clearly not a good result for us,” said Bento, whose side would have done much good to their ambition with a win after losing their opening Group G game to Germany. “The 2-2 doesn’t put us out of the World Cup mathematically, but it does leave us in a very difficult situation.
“Not just because of what we’ll need to do against Ghana, but also because we’ll need a favourable result from Germany-United States game.”
“Now all we can do is to give everything in our very last game and try and make most of the very little chance we have left.”