It took until the 91st minute for the US to clinch a spot in the next round of the World Cup. The Americans seem to relish the dramatic moments and Landon Donovan solidified his status as America’s greatest soccer player as he slotted home the winning goal in stoppage time. The goal put the US atop Group C and knocked Slovenia out of the World Cup. The Americans needed to win the match against Algeria after England went ahead of Slovenia in the other Group C match. It was a real team effort for the Americans that put them through to the round of 16. The defense played strong and the attack created numerous chances.
Manager Bob Bradley made some changes to the starting lineup against Algeria. The back line saw Oguchi Onyewu on the bench and Jonathan Bornstein starting in his place. Maurice Edu earned a spot next to Michael Bradley in the midfield and Hercules Gomez was placed alongside Jozy Altidore as forward. The US back line started in familiar fashion this World Cup by nearly allowing a quick goal for the Desert Foxes. The crossbar of the US goal was the only reason Algeria remained scoreless in the first half. The US attack saw a bunch of near misses as both teams looked to jump to an early lead. The Americans were again robbed of a goal by a poor decision by the linesman. Clint Dempsey was mistakenly called offside when he knocked home the cross from Landon Donovan. Replays clearly showed the American midfielder onside on the play. Undeterred, the US squad continued to press the Algerian defenses in search of the advantage.
The second half saw Benny Feilhaber enter the side to replace Hercules Gomez. The US again missed out on chances as Clint Dempsey’s shot bounced off the inside of the upright and the rebound sailed wide. Edson Buddle and DeMarcus Beasley were introduced as Bob Bradley searched for the elusive goal. That goal came with a monstrous throw from Tim Howard that set Donovan loose through the midfield. With Algeria caught over extended, Donovan slipped a pass to the flank for Altidore who crossed the ball into the box for Clint Dempsey. Dempsey’s flick was saved by the Algerian keeper but the rebound rolled to Donovan where he slotted home the winner from six yards out. The goal brought out a boisterous roar from the pro-American crowd and was followed by a team celebration at the corner flag. The final minutes ticked away and the US squad ran onto the field after the final whistle.
The Americans progress into the next round as Group C champions and will face the runner-up of Group D on Saturday. The US squad will focus on the match tomorrow. Today they will celebrate another amazing match and another incredible moment of this World Cup 2010.