RECIFE, Brazil – With Thomas Mueller in a perfect position to pounce on a rebound, American cheers for yet another spectacular Tim Howard save didn't last long.
The U.S. goalkeeper was unable to cut down the angle after diving to punch away a deflected ball, and Mueller did what he does so well — calmly drive a first-time shot inside the far post for his ninth goal in nine career World Cup games.
The 24-year-old Mueller isn't flashy, and didn't generate the pre-tournament talk of Brazil's Neymar or Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. But the Bayern Munich star is tied with Neymar with four goals in Brazil after scoring a tournament-high five in South Africa.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, is going home, as have other high-profile stars such as England's Wayne Rooney and Italy's Mario Balotelli.