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Team USA wins World Cup game with Algeria, advances to next round

United States' Landon Donovan, center, celebrates after scoring a goal with fellow team members Benny Feilhaber, right, and Edson Buddle, left, during the World Cup group C soccer match between the United States and Algeria at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, June 23, 2010.

United States' Landon Donovan, center, celebrates after scoring a goal with fellow team members Benny Feilhaber, right, and Edson Buddle, left, during the World Cup group C soccer match between the United States and Algeria at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, June 23, 2010.

June 23, 2010, 11:20 a.m. Updated June 24, 2010, 12:00 a.m.

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— Over and over, everything seemed to go against them.

A referee took away a win last week, and a linesman disallowed another goal Wednesday.

Now there was just 3 1⁄2 minutes left in their World Cup, just that much remaining until all the doubts about American soccer would rise again.

But then, in one of the most stunning turnarounds in World Cup history, Landon Donovan scored on a lightning fast counterattack 45 seconds into 4 minutes of injury time. With the most amazing late-game moment in American soccer, the United States beat Algeria, 1-0, and reached the World Cup’s second round.

“This team embodies what the American spirit is about,” Donovan said. “We had a goal disallowed the other night. We had another good goal disallowed tonight. But we just keep going. And I think that’s what people admire so much about Americans. And I’m damn proud.”

Former President Bill Clinton lingered in the locker room for 45 minutes after the game to congratulate the players. When Donovan scored, raucous cheers erupted on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and even in White House auditoriums in Washington, D.C., according to e-mails sent to U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati.

“That’s probably going to capture more people’s attention than if we won the game 3-0 and it was easy,” American goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “That emotion, that passion is what American sports fans thrive on.”

The United States won its first World Cup match in eight years and finished atop its first-round group for the first time since the original World Cup in 1930. With a quick turnaround, the Americans play Ghana on Saturday night in Rustenburg for a spot in the quarterfinals. Ghana won the final match of the opening round against the Americans to knock them out of the tournament in Germany four years ago.

Clint Dempsey appeared to score in the 21st minute off the rebound of Herculez Gomez’s shot. But the goal was called offside.

Dempsey’s 12-yard shot off Jozy Altidore’s cross clanked off the far post in the 57th minute, and when the rebound came back to Dempsey, he put the follow shot wide to the near side.

“You shake it out of your head and keep on fighting,” Dempsey said.

Knowing England was ahead of Slovenia at the half, the U.S. put in offensive substitutes, first Benny Feilhaber at the start of the second half, then Edson Buddle in the 64th and finally DaMarcus Beasley in the 81st.

Comments

9070811 4 years, 11 months ago

USA!!! Does anyone know when our next match will be played?

wmathews 4 years, 11 months ago

The USA's next match will be on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on ABC. We will play the second-place team from Group D.

wmathews 4 years, 11 months ago

I tell people to pretend every goal is a touchdown. Ha!

parrothead8 4 years, 11 months ago

As un-American as not supporting your country's national team?

gatekeeper 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, so un-American that it's been played here since the middle of the 19th century (hmmm, longer than a lot of other "American" sports) and we played in the first world cup in 1930.

You should learn from the rest of the world that it is the beautiful game - the best sport out there. Watch it and you'll learn.

TriSigmaKS 4 years, 11 months ago

AMAZING game! Hopefully the game Saturday won't be at the same time as the Wizards. GREAT time for soccer right now.

parrothead8 4 years, 11 months ago

The USA will play Ghana on Saturday at 1:30. ABC is carrying the game.

ebyrdstarr 4 years, 11 months ago

We will play Ghana. Because Ghana lost in this last game in pool play, they came in second in their group. We play the second place team from that group.

gatekeeper 4 years, 11 months ago

Yep, sorry. I forgot that 1 plays 2. Very glad we are playing Ghana, but they are one hell of a team too.

SoccerFanatic 4 years, 11 months ago

What a game! So pumped for USA Saturday afternoon and Wizards Saturday night!

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