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Varela's late header saves Portugal

Cape Times

A superb header by Silvestre Varela in the final minute of time added on saved world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal from crashing out of the World Cup finals on Sunday as it secured a 2-2 draw with the United States.

The Americans had looked to be safely into the last 16 after second-half goals by Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey saw them come back from 1-0 down -- a goal by Nani -- to lead.

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MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 22:  Goalkeeper Tim Howard of the United States acknowledges the fans after a 2-2 draw in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between the United States and Portugal at Arena Amazonia on June 22, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 22:  Silvestre Varela of Portugal scores his team's second goal as goalkeeper Tim Howard of the United States looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between the United States and Portugal at Arena Amazonia on June 22, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)MANAUS, BRAZIL - JUNE 22:  DeAndre Yedlin of the United States and Miguel Veloso of Portugal compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between the United States and Portugal at Arena Amazonia on June 22, 2014 in Manaus, Brazil.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

However, with only seconds remaining one sublime cross from a pretty anonymous Ronaldo was met by Varela and it soared past Tim Howard to give them a lifeline as a further defeat after the 4-0 hammering by Germany in the opening game would have seen them out.

Sapa-AFP

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