With the U.S. and Portugal set to square off on Sunday at 6pm ET, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Group G has been called the group of death by many because and it’s starting to live up to it’s nickname.
The U.S. was able to hold off Ghana, who knocked them out out play in 2010, and secure 3 points heading into Sunday’s match with Portugal. Unfortunately, Portugal wasn’t so lucky in their first game as they got trounced on by Germany and lost 0-4. If the U.S. wins on Sunday they are all but into the next round. If Portugal wins, things get a little dicey and do not look good for the U.S. as Germany awaits them next Thursday for the final round of Group play.
As the U.S. and Portugal get ready for a big time matchup, let’s look at 6 things you need to know before Sunday.
1. The U.S. and Portugal Have Played Each Other In The World Cup Once Before.
The U.S. and Portugal faced off back in 2002 in Korea/Japan and the U.S. was victorious after a 3-2 win. That year the U.S. made it out of group play and lost to Germany in the Quarterfinals. Portugal? They failed to advance out of Group D play.
2. Portugal is Ranked #4 In The World.
Despite being ranked #4 in the world, Portugal had to play in a playoff in order to qualify for the World Cup. They defeated Sweden 1-0 and then 3-2 to secure a bid to Brazil.
3. The U.S. is Ranked #13 In The World.
The U.S. automatically qualified for a spot in Brazil after finishing atop the CONCACAF with 22 points and went 1-1 against Costa Rica and 1-0-1 again Mexico in the qualifying rounds.
4. Neither Team Has Ever Won The World Cup.
Neither Portugal nor the U.S. has ever won the World Cup. The best each team has finished? Third place. Portugal in 1966 and the U.S. in 1930. The U.S. has played in 10 World Cup events and Portugal has played in 6.
5. The Captains.
One of the best players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, wears the captain’s band for Team Portugal and the 29-year-old is looking to add onto his international goal tally which currently sits at 49. For the U.S. Clint Dempsey, who scored the first goal in the USA’s win for Ghana, wears the band for Team USA. The 31-year-old currently plays for the MLS Seattle Sounders and has 37 international goals. Dempsey vs. Ronaldo is a matchup to definitely watch. Buckle up.
6. U.S. And Portugal Coach Have Faced Each Other Before.
USA coach Jürgen Klinsmann and Portugal coach Paulo Bento have faced each other before in the UEFA Champions League in 2009. Klinsmann was the coach of Bayern Munich and they defeated Paulo Bento’s Sporting squad 7-1. This will be the first time they face each other as national team coaches.
Check out our Tale of The Tape comparing Portugal and the USA before Sunday’s big game HERE…
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