Landon Donovan's goal in stoppage time lifted the United States from the verge of FIFA World Cup elimination to the Round of 16.
What a finish! And what a game!
For 90 minutes, it appeared that the United States couldn't buy a goal. Chance after chance, the Americans were stymied by the heroics of Algerian goalkeeper Rais M'bohli or by their own poor finishing. But playing for their World Cup lives, it was the star of the Stars and Stripes, Donovan, who saved the day in the 91st minute to give Americans a well-deserved 1-0 win.
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With passage to the next round on the line, both squads put forward a spirited, entertaining game from the opening whistle. There were several quality chances by both squads in the opening 45 minutes, including Algerian Rafik Djebbour's cracker off the crossbar in the sixth minute and Clint Dempsey's debatable offside goal in the 20th minute.
Despite all the end-to-end action, with the Americans having most of the chances in the second half, neither team could break the deadlock until stoppage time.
The American midfield, along with striker Jozy Altidore, proved their strength at this tournament with an assertive outing. The precision passing between Donovan, Michael Bradley and Dempsey helped create numerous chances throughout the match and tired out their Algerian opponents.
Algeria, arguably one of the best defensive teams in the tournament, leaves the World Cup heartbroken and goal-less. The Desert Foxes became the third African nation to be eliminated, joining South Africa and Nigeria.
What this result means
The United States and England advance to the Round of 16. The two teams tied for first in Group C, but the Americans will take the No. 1 seed because they scored more goals.
The all-American hero Landon Donovan saves the day.
Seconds after U.S. keeper Tim Howard made a save, the U.S. stormed out on the counterattack. With good numbers in the penalty area, Jozy Altidore knocked in a desperate cross to the front of goal. M'bohli made the initial save under pressure from Clint Dempsey, but Donovan was right there to bury a low shot into the corner.
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This game was destined for a 0-0 result until Donovan's goal in the 91st minute.
Man of the match
While Donovan may have been the saviour for the United States with his last-minute marker, it was the heroics of Rais M'bohli, the Algerian goalkeeper, who deserves this honour.
M'bohli, fresh off his shutout against England, looked poised to repeat that result with another stellar outing. He made several key saves to keep his squad in the game, including point-blank stops in the second half on Clint Dempsey and Edson Buddle.
Goal of the match
After chance after chance by his American teammates, Donovan secured the Stars and Stripes' spot in the Round of 16 with his dramatic stoppage-time goal.
The American perspective
"We're not done yet. We believe, man. We're alive, baby!" — U.S. veteran midfielder Landon Donovan.
The Algerian perspective
"We’re sorry for the people of Algeria, but they need to know that we gave everything. We never gave up. We had chances to win and in the end we conceded on the break. ... It was very tough physically, but we leave the competition with our heads held high." — Algerian midfielder Karim Ziani