United States forward Jozy Altidore, recovering from a strained hamstring, did not play in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Belgium Tuesday at Salvador, Brazil.
Altidore sustained the injury in the Americans’ opener against Ghana June 16 and didn’t play in the next two games. But he had been cleared to play Monday.
Altidore had been working out on his own, jogging around the field at the Americans’ training camp in Sao Paulo. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann had said he had to determine “how much work” was in Altidore’s legs.
Right back Fabian Johnson left the game against Belgium, in the first half with a strained right hamstring.
Johnson was chasing a ball in the 31st minute when he pulled up and sat down on the field. He was replaced by 20-year-old DeAndre Yedlin, one of Klinsmann’s surprise picks for the US roster.
Romelu Lukaku had a point to prove at the World Cup.
After Belgium missed countless chances during the 90 minutes of regulation time, the powerful striker came off the bench and soon set up the opening goal for Kevin De Bruyne.
As the US pressed for an equalizer, De Bruyne swiftly returned the favor to Lukaku, who made it 2-0.
Despite scoring key goals in World Cup qualifying, Lukaku had a disappointing start in the group matches and was dropped from the starting lineup.
Belgian coach Marc Wilmots said, ‘‘The media tried to take Romelu down after the first round, but I was convinced that he would still be able to make the difference at this World Cup.’’
It was all long faces but heads mostly held high for the legions of American fans in Brazil for the World Cup after the US team bowed out.
Upward of 20,000 people — mostly Americans — packed the golden sands of Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro in front of a giant TV screen for the game.
The crowd’s mood grew ever more tense as the tightly played match wore on to a scoreless draw in regulation time.
American optimism deflated after Belgium scored two goals in extra time, but then the US made a spirited comeback try that fell short.
Twenty-eight-year-old Travis Rood of Seattle said this World Cup is ‘‘a turning point’’ because other nations are starting to respect the American side.
Man runs on field
A man ran onto the field during the game, briefly interrupting the second-round contest.
The man, an Italian with a history of such stunts, stopped the game in the 16th minute. He ran around on the grass wearing a blue Superman T-shirt.
The man, Mario Ferri, also ran onto the field during a match at the last World Cup, interrupting the semifinal match between Germany and Spain.
Ferri ran unimpeded for several seconds, pulling down on his T-shirt to better reveal several messages on it. He eventually was escorted off the field by security.
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