Posted on July 2, 2014 at 1:33 PM
Wednesday, Jul 2 at 1:33 PM
ABC US News | ABC Sports News
(ABC News) -- Goalkeeper Tim Howard played the match of his life, but in the end the U.S. couldn't win against Belgium.
Belgium won 2-1 in today's World Cup match in Salvador, Brazil, eliminating the U.S. from the tournament.
The Belgians peppered the U.S. goal with shots throughout the match. The scoreline could have been worse had Howard not been the team's savior in the net -- recording a spectacular 16 saves, the most-ever for an American goalie at the World Cup.
"That's my job, that's what I signed up to do," Howard told ESPN after the game.
Kevin De Bruyne finally beat Howard in the third minute of extra time and Romelu Lukaku scored 12 minutes later to give Belgium the win.
Howard admitted the loss hurt, but said the team "couldn't have given any more."
"What a great game of football," he said. "We got beat by a really good team. It's heartache, it hurts."
Awed spectators turned to social media during -- and after -- the game to praise the U.S. star, calling Howard the "glue," the "wall," "the man of the match," and "the one man who can lead a team to victory," according to Twitter.
At one point, there was hope for the U.S. when Chris Wondolowski nearly scored late in the game after coming on in the second half when it was still scoreless.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann's face showed how that turned out -- the same reaction as U.S. fans everywhere.
Later, Julian Green did score the USA's first and only goal of the match in his World Cup debut.
But Howard was clearly the team's MVP.