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Portugal strikes late, ties U.S.

MANAUS, Brazil — Portuguese substitute Silvestre Varela grabbed a dramatic stoppage-time tying goal for a 2-2 draw with the United States in World Cup Group G on Sunday.

Just as it looked as though the Americans had secured a come-from-behind victory to qualify for the second round, Varela scored with a flying header from a Cristiano Ronaldo cross.

Clint Dempsey had given the United States the lead in the 81st minute, steering the ball home with his stomach from close range.

Portugal had taken an early lead and then sat back in the heat and humidity, allowing the Americans to start dominating.

It was little surprise when midfielder Jermaine Jones cut in from the left in the 64th minute and fired in a superb right- foot curling shot to tie it.

The result means the U.S. is in second place, even with Germany at four points, and Portugal is third with one point, tied with Ghana.

Portugal took the lead in the fifth minute when Geoff Cameron swung at a Miguel Veloso cross and succeeded only in slicing the ball across his own area right to the feet of Nani, who scored easily.

The Portuguese played slowly, appearing to try to conserve energy in the tough conditions. The temperature in the Amazonia arena was 86 at kickoff with a humidity reading of 65 percent.

Portugal nevertheless looked capable of scoring again and Nani hit the left-hand post in the 45th minute from outside the area.

The ball rebounded to Eder but his looping shot was scooped over the bar by U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Portugal started with Ronaldo, who has been trying to shake off a knee injury. Algeria 4, South Korea 2: Algeria took a huge step toward qualifying for the knockout round of the World Cup for the first time with a Group H win over South Korea in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Sunday.

Islam Slimani, Rafik Halliche and Abdelmoumene Djabou gave Algeria a 3-0 halftime lead before the Koreans scored with their first shot on goal, Son Heung-min turning smartly in the box to fire between Rais Mbolhi’s legs in the 50th minute.

Yacine Brahimi found the net just after the hour to restore Algeria’s three-goal cushion.Belgium 1, Russia 0: Divock Origi’s late strike earned Belgium a Group H win over Russia at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday to seal a spot in the knockout round of the World Cup. Origi broke the deadlock in the 88th minute, slamming home Eden Hazard’s cutback for the Belgians.

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