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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – US soccer fans packed watch parties all over South Florida to watch the US national team play in the World Cup.

The game against Portugal was a nail-bitter and ended with a tie, but a huge boost to soccer popularity in the United States.

High hopes and energy fueled crowds gathered in Coral Gables to watch what many believed was a defining game for the USA. Many saw the team as the underdog.

The European team scored first, but it wasn’t long before the US answered. Fans reacted with elation and relief. The US needed at least a tie to keep World Cup dreams alive.

“I think the United States really has come up a lot,” said fan Brian Mullin. “I mean we have the coach that we have and the team we have.”

The stars and stripes surprised even their strongest believers with a second goal.

Crowds at the watch party near Miracle Mile were already singing victory, when Portugal scored in the last 60 seconds of the game.

“I’m just blown away,” said US Soccer fan Ivan Osorio. “They played so well the whole game and then one little mistake at the last second.”

Despite the last minute goal ended the game with a tie, many fans said they were happy the American national team is performing at a higher level and taking US soccer popularity up a notch, but the next match will be an even bigger challenge. The United States plays Germany, a powerhouse.

“I honestly believe we can beat Germany,” said Ulises Rodriguez. “That’s the way I see it and it’s going to happen.”

The Americans advance to the elite round of 16 teams with a tie or win against Germany. If the United States loses, it will be rooting Ghana to lose or tie the Ghana-Portugal match.

If you would like to send a picture of your watch party, send to or on Twitter @CBSMiami.

Watch the report, click here.





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