Even after losing 1-0 to Germany on Thursday, the United States will advance to the Round of 16 and play Belgium on Tuesday, July 1 in Salvador, Brazil at 4 p.m. ET. The United States advanced with an even goal difference and four points, while Portugal finished -3 and on four points.
Ironically, finishing second in the group gives the United States an extra day of rest and means they'll get a break from their heavy travel schedule. Salvador is a relative hop, skip and jump away at about 420 miles, the shortest trip the USA have made during this World Cup.
This Round of 16 match is also about as winnable as the United States could have hoped for, all things considered.
Group H has so far been one of the more underwhelming collective performers, with no team looking particularly sharp in all of their games. Belgium won all three of their matches to finish atop the group, but needed late goals in all three.
Belgium v. South Korea
While a match against Belgium looked particularly imposing when the draw first was released, the Red Devils have looked vulnerable in their group stage matches. They needed a pair of late goals to overcome an early deficit to Algeria in their first match, an 88th-minute strike to dispatch of Russia in their second and a 77th minute goal to beat South Korea.
Underwhelming performances aside, they are still one of the most talented teams in the tournament. The attack is led by Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne, a trio with tons of upside even if they don't have much to show for it in this tournament.
Algeria may have actually been the most impressive team during the first two games, scoring five goals and nearly pulling an upset of Belgium in the opener. Led by forward Islam Slimani, the Fennec Foxes exploded for four goals against South Korea and would win the group if they can beat Russia and Belgium fall to South Korea.