Held in check for 94 minutes and 30 seconds of the USA versus Portugal World Cup match in Manaus, Brazil last night, Cristiano Ronaldo’s internationally known “magic feet” never found the back of the net nor provided the brilliance that every fan expected from the world class striker.
However, with only 30 seconds remaining in stoppage time, only one of the 2013 Ballon d’ Or trophy winner’s “magic feet” was required to brilliantly cross the ball into the box to find teammate Valera for a diving header past US goalie Tim Howard.
Exhausted and exasperated, a US side that dominated for most of the night, witnessed its 2 – 1 lead slip away as quickly and painfully as a deadly snake that pounces to bite then immediately slithers away in the Brazilian jungle.
With less than a minute away from advancing out of the group stage to to the final round of World Cup play, the US side allowed Portugal one final possession and, unwisely, Ronaldo one final touch. And, it cost them as Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad failed to close out a formidable competitor and one of soccer’s best playmakers.
The US learned the valuable lesson that you can never completely count out true champions and indomitable competitors like Ronaldo who was stymied for nearly the entire match.
International football fans need to applaud Ronaldo’s efforts and credit him for Portugal’s stunning last second comeback. He never quit on his team after playing nearly 95 minutes in the sweltering heat and humidity in the middle of the Amazonian rain forest. Despite a nagging knee injury and two pesky US defenders dogging him all night long, Ronaldo proved why he is one of the top three soccer players on the planet.
He also demonstrated that it doesn’t take both of his “magic feet” to hurt an opponent. Only one was needed last night to make the perfect pass and inflict all the damage necessary in the final seconds of stoppage time.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!