USA vs. Algeria ended with a 1-0 USA win, and the US soccer team advances into the Round of 16 and the knockout stages, winning Group C in the process.
With four minutes added onto the clock for extra time in the second half, the US soccer side had a few more moments to try to work some magic after an eventful but unsuccessful second half. Opportunity after opportunity had been denied, but somehow, some way, in the waning seconds of the game, Landon Donovan was able to scramble and put in a goal to give the USA a 1-0 win over Algeria, allowing them to advance into the Round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup.
Things were not going the way of the US soccer team. Clint Dempsey had a goal turned back on another terrible call by a referee. Offsides was the call, but replays showed that Dempsey was even with the last defender, another blown call going against the team. It may have reminded some US fans of the South African security decree that they’d prefer the USA not to advance, so they didn’t have to deal with the added threat of protecting President Obama, who promised to attend a match if the USA advanced.
Golden chances kept turning up, only to result in near misses or great saves by the goaltender, or other unusual circumstances which prevented the US side from putting the ball in the net.
Dempsey got elbowed in the face in the box but nothing was called. Late sub DeMarcus Beasley pulled down a ball in the box and was ready to unload, but had a phantom handball called. Jozy Altidore sent a loose rebound soaring over the crossbar when an open net was available. Benny Feilhaber was tantalizingly close to getting a ball inside the near post but the Algerian goalkeeper just barely stuck his leg out to deflect it. Michael Bradley had a great free kick opportunity, but the ball just wouldn’t go home.
Meanwhile, in the England vs. Slovenia match, the Three Lions were able to get an early 1-0 for themselves, which meant that a tie would not be enough for the USA to advance. If that result held, and it did, the USA would need a win to advance and not a tie, and things were beginning to look bleak despite the fact that the Yanks were dominating the game. Was the US going to be sent home from the World Cup without losing a game?
Finally, in the 91st minute of the game, Donovan got the winning goal. Goalkeeper Tim Howard sent up a perfect ball after an Algerian attack and found a US rush with numbers. Donovan streaked and got the ball to Altidore, but after an initial stoppage it looked as if it would be just another near-miss. But Donovan, quiet all game, notably absent from the US attack, found the loose ball and drove it home. A 1-0 win for the USA vs. Algeria, and the Yanks move on.
Not only that, but the win ensures that the USA wins Group C. This is important because the Group C winner faces the second seed of Group D, as opposed to the first. Pending the results of this afternoon’s games, that hopefully means that the USA will not have to face Germany in the Round of 16, and instead will face a less fearsome opponent.
Either way, disaster was averted, and the comeback kids, the cardiac kings, were able to find a way to win the game, finally. Congratulations is deserved following the USA vs. Algeria results, and here we come to the Round of 16.