Vlatko Andonovski’s side was frustrated by a well-organized Portugal team that almost snatched victory in stoppage-time when striker Ana Capeta hit the post — a strike that, had it gone in, would have sent the USWNT crashing out of the tournament.
The USWNT will face the winner of Group G in Melbourne on Sunday in its first knockout match, likely to be Sweden who needs just a point against bottom-placed Argentina to confirm top place and the matchup.
Defender Lynn Williams had a headed chance after 13 minutes, but watched on as Portugal goalkeeper Ines Pereira smothered the attempt. While the U.S. controlled possession in the first half and had the better chances, it could not find the right finish and the game was scoreless at the break.
Rose Lavelle picked up a yellow card in the 38th minute, her second of the group stage, that means she will not be available for the round-of-16 clash.
Early in the second half, a malfunctioning sprinkler caused a fire alarm to go off in the stadium but play continued as the U.S. continued to be frustrated.
Megan Rapinoe came on as a substitute in the after 60 minutes but could not make an impact on the scoreline.
Capeta’s effort in stoppage time capped a spirited late attack from Portugal, who exit the competition.
The result means the U.S. finishes in second-place in Group E on five points — two behind Netherlands — but will have the opportunity continue its bid for an unprecedented third consecutive Women’s World Cup title.
Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.