The USA so very nearly recorded a surprise win over Portugal on Sunday night but in the end Varela was the man that headed home in the fifth minute of injury time to crush the American dream after a scintillating contest between the two nations.
Portugal took the lead just five minutes into the game after the USA defence was caught napping at the back. The ball was harmlessly played across the box but as Geoff Cameron went to clear he only succeeded in kicking fresh air. Nani proved to be the beneficiary of the defenders unfortunate error as he snook in at the back post to poke home.
The highest scoring American player and the most capped American player on the pitch, Clint Dempsey, went close ten minutes later as he curled a free kick marginally over the Portuguese cross bar.
Portugal dominated possession for the majority of the first half with the US left to feed off a number of counter attacks. One of these such break aways ended with Bradley shooting over the cross bar.
The man looking most likely to get the USA's opening goal of the game was Clint Dempsey as he forced Beto into a number of saves throughout the opening half hour's play.
By the 30 minute mark in the contest the US were on top as a number of long range shots had Beto worried in the Portuguese goal with Johnson smashing one of his efforts into the side netting.
With just one minute to go before half time, Nani took a shot from 25 yards out that Howard tipped onto the post. The drama was not over there though as the ball then rebounded back out to Eder who shot goal wards unchallenged only to see Howard spring up from the ground to tip his effort over the bar.
Ten minutes into the second half and the US should have been level with Bradley shooting towards an open goal only for him to see Ricardo Costa get a last gasp knee to the ball to deny the midfielder.
In the 64th minute anyone who had stayed up to watch the pick of Sunday's games witnessed one of the best goal's of this year's tournament. Jermaine Jones picked the ball up on the edge of the box after it spilled out from a corner before taking one touch and curling the ball into the far corner of the goal giving Beto no chance.
The drama of this game was set to continue for a little while longer as Clint Dempsey added his name to the goal scorers list with ten minutes to go. Zusi controlled the ball on the left side of the pitch before playing the ball to the back post for Dempsey to bundle the ball over the line.
Ronaldo, who had been much subdued for the duration of the game, ended up crossing in the ball for the Portuguese equaliser in the 95th minute as his ball found the head of Varela to break the Americans hearts.
USA: Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Matt Besler, DaMarcus Beasley, Geoff Cameron, Fabian Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya (DeAndre Yedlin 71), Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman, Graham Zusi (Omar González 90+1), Clint Dempsey (Chris Wondolowski 87).
Subs Not Used: John Brooks, Aron Jóhannsson, Mikkel Diskerud, Brad Guzan, Brad Davis, Julian Green, Timmy Chandler, Nick Rimando.
Booked: Jermaine Jones (75).
Portugal: Beto, Bruno Alves, Miguel Veloso, Cristiano Ronaldo, Joao Moutinho, Ricardo Costa, Raul Meireles (Silvestre Varela 68), Luis Nani, Andre Almeida (William Carvalho 46), Joao Pereira, Helder Postiga (Eder 16).
Subs Not Used: Eduardo Carvalho, Vieirinha, Rui Patricio, Rafa Silva, Ruben Amorim, Luis Neto.
Referee: Nestor Pitana (Argentina)
Extatime.com Man Of The Match: Graham Zusi (Germany)
Gareth is the Editor of Extratime.ie. Gareth began as a normal reporter covering games all over Dublin before being asked to help out with behind the scene activities and eventually moving into the role of Editor prior to the start of the 2016 season. Some have said this was a seemless transition taking over from our owner and chief who shares the same great name. <br /><br /> Gareth has covered many games both male and female and even has experience covering underage tournaments such as the Galway Cup. Gareth has also attended many high profile internationals such as Ireland's famous win over Germany back in 2015. Where were you when Shane Long put the ball in the Germans net? <br /><br /> Gareth also had the pleasure of being part of the Extratime Team that traveled to France in the summer of 2016 to cover the European Championships. A truly memorable experience. <br /><br /> Today, Gareth isn't seen in as many press boxes as he once was as his time is mostly spent locked in a dark room also known as Extratime HQ where he busily runs the madness that is Extratime's Friday nights operation. He will also upload many articles throughout the week while also dealing with the PRO's of League of Ireland clubs on a daily basis. Ongoing recruitment is also high on Gareth's list of roles and if you are interested in getting involved don't forget to e-mail him at ExtratimeLive@gmail.com