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Howard Backs Us To Progress

by Hamish Dufton @efchamishdufton

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Despite the heartbreaking conclusion to their second World Cup game, Tim Howard is still of the opinion the United States have every chance of reaching the knockout stages.

In yet another thrilling encounter out in Brazil, Howard’s USMNT were just seconds away from a win over Portiugal that would see them qualify from the ‘Group of Death’.

A stunning strike from Jermaine Jones and a bundled finish from Clint Dempsey had overturned an early Nani goal but in added time, Silvestre Varela stooped to nod home Ronaldo’s cross to earn the Portuguese a share of the spoils.

For Howard, who produced a number of vital saves – including one outstanding stop from Eder – it was a harsh result after a tremendous performance from Jurgen Klinsmann’s side.

He said: "We had one foot in the door. It hurt when that [goal] goes in, but the game is cruel. We will try to be positive. We’ll give ourselves 24 hours to see what we did wrong.

“I think we had the better passage of play. Football is punishing sometimes. It ebbs and flows and we try to take every result as it comes.

“We’ll give ourselves time to ponder the results, but we’ve got a great chance in the Group of Death.”

The result, coupled with Germany’s 2-2 draw with Ghana, leaves Group G wide open but Howard insists the US will give everything in their final fixture against the Germans.

“That’s the kind of team we are,” he added. “We’ll never lose that. And that’s why we give ourselves a chance.”

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