(CBS) -- Belgium scored twice in extra time and held off a furious rally from the United States to win 2-1 Tuesday and move into the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
In a word, it was an exhilirating game. In perhaps a more appropriate word for the American set, it was agonizing.
The US battled valiantly -- namely Tim Howard, who played out of his mind in goal -- but they couldn't overcome two goals by Belgium in the first period of extra time.
And, to be fair, there were numerous, numerous chances that Belgium perhaps should have converted in the first 90 minutes. But Howard continued turning them away, time after time.
The Americans, too, had chances of their own, the best one coming just before full time, when Chris Wondolowski sent a shot high and wide from just in front of the net.
From there we moved to extra time, and Belgium dominated from the outcome. Kevin De Bruyne started the scoring in the 93rd minute, and Romelu Lukaku put in a second just before the whistle in the first overtime period.
The US, it seemed, was dead in the water.
But then a flash of offense, as Michael Bradley sent a beautiful ball over the Belgium defense to 19-year-old Julian Green, who volleyed it in for a goal. It was the first time Green has been on the field in Brazil. Quite an entrance.
The attack was on for the final 15 minutes or so, but the Americans just couldn't get the equalizer -- despite coming ridiculously close. The best chance came on a free kick play, when Bradley played the ball to Clint Dempsey's, whose touch was just a bit too firm, allowing Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois to block any shot attempt.
And that was it. A brilliant effort from the American side, who battled through a powerful group and then 120 minutes against one of the best sides in the world. Not sure you could ask for much more than that.