The U.S. men's national soccer team lost to Germany 1-0 on Thursday — but still snuck into the knockout round of the World Cup thanks to a little help from Portugal.
The U.S. would have advanced outright with a win or a draw. They got neither. Yet Portugal topped Ghana 2-1 thanks to a late goal from Cristiano Ronaldo, earning them three points and tying them in the standings with the U.S. Though Portugal and the U.S. both finished Group G with four points, the U.S. held the edge in goal differential — the first of several tiebreakers — so they moved on.
Truly, the U.S was fortunate to survive. Had Ghana won with two goals, or had the U.S. conceded one more score to Germany and had Portugal and Ghana played to a draw, the Black Stars would have advanced at the expense of the Americans.
Neither of those things happened, and the U.S. advanced to the Round of 16, where they will likely face Belgium.