The Everton goalkeeper kept Marc Wilmots' men at bay for 98 minutes before finally being beaten by Kevin de Bruyne's low strike, but the USA still ensured a frantic finale.
Howard kept the Belgians at bay for 98 minutes of the round of 16 clash at Arena Fonte Nova, making a number of impressive stops before he was finally beaten by Kevin de Bruyne in the second minute of extra time.
15 - @TimHowardGK made 15 saves tonight, a record in a World Cup game since Opta records began (1966). Legend.— OptaJean (@OptaJean) July 1, 2014
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku doubled Belgium's lead on 105 minutes but the USA rallied and, after Julian Green volleyed past Thibaut Courtois on 107 minutes, spurned several good opportunities to equalize.
None of this, however, prevented Howard from recording a new highest number of saves in any single World Cup match since 1966, the first edition of the tournament for which Opta has data.
Meanwhile, Belgium's victory also ensured that all eight group winners progressed to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since the tournament assumed its modern format in 1998.