Varela headed in an equalizer in injury time to salvage a 2-2 draw for Portugal against the United States at the World Cup on Sunday and deny the Americans a spot in the second round.
Cristiano Ronaldo swung in a cross from the right and Varela thumped a header into the net to keep Portugal alive in the tournament.
Clint Dempsey had given the U.S. the lead when he used his stomach to direct the ball into the net from a cross by Graham Zusi in the 81st minute.
Jermaine Jones had equalized for the Americans earlier in the second half, after Nani gave Portugal an early lead.
A win would have put the U.S. into the second round, but it can still advance with at least a draw against Germany in the next game.