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World Cup pre-game: USA vs. Portugal

With the Germans failing to nail down the Group G, the Americans have been given an even better chance to advance to the next round when they face Portugal Sunday (CBC, CBC.ca/fifaworldcup, 6 p.m. ET).

Door open for Americans to advance to next round

Despite his knee injury, Cristiano Ronaldo, right, will suit up for Portugal against Team USA and Clint Dempsey, left, in Sunday’s crucial Group G match. (Getty Images/Associated Pres)

Group G: USA vs. Portugal

  • 6 p.m. ET, Sunday June 22
  • CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup

What’s at stake

Germany’s draw with Ghana in Group G on Saturday opened the door even wider for the Americans to advance to the next round.

Portugal has to get over its opening 4-0 debacle against Germany and will need to come out firing against Team USA.

Impact players

USA: Clint Dempsey. He scored the game winner against Ghana. He also kept the energy level on full in that first game.

Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo. Yes he’s hurt. And yes, his first game was lacklustre. But he’s the best player for Portugal. And its World Cup fate hangs on him.

What to watch for

The Americans pulled out a convincing victory against Ghana. They want to keep the momentum going.

Portugal played a very undisciplined game against Germany, including that Pepe straight red. It needs to buckle down.

And it also needs to score.

These teams have played each other five times previously — with each team winning two, plus a draw.

They said it

“We only talk now about how we can beat this Portuguese team with all of these amazing players that they have. This is our goal and we believe in it. We believe that we can go to Manaus and beat them." — USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann, speaking to reporters about the upcoming match.

“I am not saying it was only the referee’s fault. We also made mistakes but the circumstances of what happened in the first half made the rest of the game difficult for us.” — Portugal manager Paulo Bento talking about his game against Germany.

The big number

15 — The number of touches Ronaldo had against Germany in the first half of their first game. That is very low for this superstar, highlighting how his fitness issues affect his team’s chances.

Obligatory fun fact

Jurgen Klinsmann was Germany’s coach when it defeated Portugal in the match for third place at the 2006 World Cup.

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