After 105 minutes in the energy-sapping conditions of Salvador on Tuesday evening, the Americans were a sorry-looking bunch. All passion spent. All hope gone. All over. Two goals behind to a skilful, determined Belgium, Jürgen Klinsmann’s men had 15 more minutes to bear, and then they would be put out of their misery and head home.

At times, Tuesday’s game had resembled the Alamo, with goalkeeper...