Updated 11:36 AM EST, Wed, Jan 26, 2022

The Top 5 Lessons Learned From U.S. vs. Portugal 2014 World Cup Matchup Game

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When it comes to processing the World Cup game between the United States and Portugal, the rollercoaster ride that occurred during the match can be taken in a number of ways.

On one hand the U.S. came back from 0-1 late in the match by scoring two unanswered goals. The other side of the coin is that for such a dominating performance, the U.S. only got a draw from Portugal, while also allowing the latest goal ever to be made in World Cup history.

Whatever way in which you choose to look at the match, American fans can learn a great deal from the way their squad played on Sunday.

Here are the 'Top 5' lessons learned from the United States' epic bout with Portugal during round 1 of the 2014 World Cup games.

5. Turnovers Are the 'Stat of Death'

When you're playing with the big boys, especially those classified as being what some fans call "groups of death," any mistake or turnover will not go unpunished.

U.S. defensemen Geoff Cameron made a terrible blunder in the opening moments when he failed to clear a ball. The pathetic attempt sent the ball straight to Nani, who took full advantage of Portugal's fortune.

This is the World Cup, and amateur mistakes like failing to clear a ball will come back to haunt a team. The U.S. has to be in tip-top shape when facing Germany Thursday.

4. The Boys Do Fight

On the positive side, the U.S. has been great at scoring goals late in the match. Whether it was Brooks in the Ghana game, or Jordan against Portugal, the U.S. seems to be turning into a clutch offensive team.

This experience in late game situations could prove to be valuable going forward in the tournament. Comebacks are an essential part of soccer. Obviously one team has to score first and the other will play from behind.

When teams have experience playing from behind, it helps to keep the panic button at bay.

3. Shut 'Em Down

The U.S. was great at keeping Ronaldo pinned up. Granted, there was the second cross that was allowed, but for the majority of the game, Ronaldo was a nonfactor. This star-stopping power will be needed for Muller and Gotze of Germany.

It seems that when a team loves to play their offense through specific players, taking them out can throw a wrench into the opponent's game plan.

2. Howard's Still Got It

As terrible as the U.S. defense has been at times, goalkeeper Tim Howard has put up multiple solid performances that have kept scores lower than they probably should have been. Howard did allow two goals against Portugal, but arguably neither was his fault.

 A perfectly executed cross from Ronaldo left Howard with zero reaction time. Even in the replay the ball looked to have already hit the net before Howard could throw his hands at it.

1. Altidore Out The Door

For the U.S. being without one their biggest offensive threats, the team has reacted nicely, as other players have stepped up to fill in the gaps. Brooks and Jordan both landed great goals that were unexpected.

Dempsey has also skyrocketed his own play to make up for the loss of Altidore. Broken nose and all, Dempsey looks fresh out on the field.  

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