Despite being pinned inside its own half for long spells, the United States remained a threat on the counter attack, and from one such downfield break Graham Zusi was inches away from connecting with a volley.

Dempsey also tested Courtois with two attempts from range but in the main, the red wave continued.

Kevin Mirallas was the next man to try and pierce USA's rearguard as he sauntered into the area -- defenders in white petrified of upending him -- before the ball ran loose to Origi.

Yet again, Howard earned his stripes and made the block.

The goalkeeper, a long standing servant of English club Everton, had USA fans in raptures again moments later as he diverted another goalbound effort from club colleague Mirallas after he had sprung the offside trap.

Origi stung Howard's palms with a rifled shot from outside the box before Hazard rippled the side-netting as the pressure intensified with the final whistle in sight.

A measure of the attacking swarm Belgium had adopted came with the sight of captain Vincent Kompany picking the ball up in his own area and charging upfield to prompt Howard into another save, as his flick lurched for the bottom corner.

Deep in stoppage time, the moment the United States had been waiting for arrived.

A knockdown inside the area found substitute Chris Wondolowski eight yards out with only the goalkeeper to beat. A nation held its breath and then howled as he launched the ball over the crossbar.

An incorrect offside flag from the linesman spared his blushes, as the crowd in Salvador roared their approval at the conclusion of 90 minutes.

For those recently converted to the joy of soccer it surely proved how thrilling a scoreless draw can be, but the deadlock was broken a matter of minutes into the added 30-minute period.

De Bruyne played the role of destroyer, dancing away from three white shirts inside the area before angling a shot beyond the seemingly unimpeachable Howard.

When substitute Romelu Lukaku added a second 12 minutes later it appeared as if the game was up. But if anything, the Chelsea striker's goal only served to inspire Klinsmann's troops.

Chasing a lifeline, their game plan went out of the window, an all-out approach paying dividends when teenager Green -- a controversial pre-tournament selection in place of U.S. legend Landon Donovan -- volleyed home superbly to halve the deficit.

From that point on, all hell broke loose.

The Americans were nearly level within seconds of Green's strike as Jones hooked a shot that dropped tortuously wide of the far post.

Then Lukaku squandered a chance to seal the tie once and for all, as Howard made his umpteenth save on a night where both teams notched up a ridiculous 52 attempts on goal.

The final act of a game that will live long in the memory saw a neatly worked free kick send captain Dempsey in on goal but when it mattered most, Courtois stood tall to make the block and repel the last effort the USA could muster.