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Donovan scores late against Algeria, pushes USA to knockout stages


                           photo by Ben Queenborough/ 


The U.S. national team was held scoreless by Algeria for 90 minutes and looked headed for an early World Cup exit, but a Landon Donovan goal in the 91st was enough to push the Americans to a 1-0 win that saw them reach the knockout rounds for the first time since 2002.

Donovan finished a Clint Dempsey rebound in the first minute of stoppage time, giving the United States a dramatic victory against Algeria at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria. The win marked the Americans' first of the World Cup and gave them first place in Group C.

The United States came close to scoring on several occasions prior to Donovan's finish, but good goalkeeping by Rais M'Bolhi, an unkind post and a questionable disallowed goal kept the game scoreless.

Dempsey looked to originally give the United States the lead in the 21st minute when he got on the end of a Gomez shot, but Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere ruled Dempsey offside.

The United States came close again later in the half, but Jozy Altidore fired a volley high in front of an open net in the 37th.

The second half saw more of the same, as Dempsey took a shot at the top of the penalty area only to see it smack off the post in the 57th. The rebound then fell to Dempsey but his left-footed shot soared wide from a difficult angle.

Substitute Edson Buddle also came close to giving the United States a lead 11 minutes later, getting on the end of a Steve Cherundolo cross only to head it right to M'Bolhi.

All the missed chances were erased in the 91st minute though, when the United States deployed the type of counterattack it is known for. 

After saving a shot in his own end, Tim Howard quickly heaved the ball to Donovan on the right flank. The American midfielder dribbled down the field before passing to Jozy Altidore, who layed the ball across the 18 to Dempsey. M'Bolhi saved Dempsey's shot, but Donovan pounced on the loose ball and put it in the back of the net, sending the U.S. team, sidelines and fans into a frenzy.

The United States will be joined by England as teams to advance out of Group C, with the Three Lions beating Slovenia 1-0 on Wednesday.

England secured its passage to the Round of 16 courtesy of a first-half goal from Jermaine Defoe.


What do you think of the United States' 1-0 win? What did you do when Donovan scored? Which players impressed you? Glad to see the defense keep a cleansheet? 

Share your thoughts below.


  1. i wish we could see the whole team’s celebration!!! why the only show a few seconds of the pile bewilders and annoys the crap out of me.

  2. yes, i thought it was sweet…but then i thought about the ex part, then a little creepy, then like maybe he’s tryin to get her back, if she is ignoring him its kinda boyish, if she can be swooned, then what a balla.

    But that was quite a moment for a shout out to your ex.

    Surprised no pundit reaction to that.

  3. This late post results from the fact that I went to the game in Pretoria, watched and suffered through the first 90 minutes, went wild after we scored, then caught a cab 45 minutes to the airport in Joburg, then stood in line two hours to chek in, then flew 15 hours to Atlanta before arriving in Tampa thursday.
    What a game. After watching it in person and seeing a tv replay here are my belated comments. I thought Dempsey should have been subbed. I just thought his game is about him and not about the team.
    This is the most balanced -defense-offense- game we’ve played in a long time. The Edu-Bradley tandem worked well defensively. They kept the shape and protected the back four.
    Jozy is a beast. hope he scores at least one goal. Defenders don’t want any part of him.
    Gomez was poor on the ball. His passes kept going to the wrong team.
    bornstein- a big sigh of relief

    The US fans were terrific.. we outnumbered the opposition for a change.

  4. I live in Maine and wore my jersey to a local bar that had around 15 people watching the game and we went wild. After the game, walking down the street, everyone asked me how we did. Later, I saw a USMNT flag waving at a beach house. This team is making it’s way through the cracks of every tiny little place in America…

  5. USA USA USA!!!!

    My country, ’tis of thee,
    Sweet land of liberty,
    Of thee I sing;
    Land where my fathers died,
    Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
    From every mountainside
    Let freedom ring!

  6. No, Demerit was real solid in the 2nd half. Considering he’s only played once with Bocanegra, and considering the shot off the crossbar involved him forced to mark two guys (he did the right thing and just attacked the ball, he missed, yes, but he took one guy out of the play and almost cleared it.) Demerit was far more active than Bocanegra in the middle, and Bornstein? Seriously? He got turned in, he gave passes away, he refused to pass to an open Donovan on the wing and attempted to send a cross in that didn’t come close to reaching any Americans.

    It will be interesting to see who does play. You have to figure Clark comes back. Buddle was active, but I’m guessing Findley comes back. Does Altidore play? Or do you go Buddle/Findley, considering we only got 3 days? Do you sub Spector for Dolo? It’s a real quick turnaround considering the energy the team put out there today.

  7. Hopefully we can get revenge against Ghana for knocking us out of last world cup. Didn’t get to see game against Germany but they looked poor against Australia. Def. will present more of a problem for our defense however I think thier weak defense will present us some opportunities we have to be sharper with our finishing if we are to progress further. 2-1 USA with Altidore and Bradley scoring.

  8. When i saw bornstein in the lineup, i almost cried, but he showed up, and every call Bob Bradley made worked to perfection. I haven’t been the biggest fan of Bob Bradley over the years, for many reasons. But he overcame to horrible calls, to finish 1ST!!! in the group. So all I have to say is: Hail to the Chief. Bob Bradley

  9. I completely agree. I thought the Algerians didn’t need to push forward like people say they should have. They had a counterattacking strategy that nearly worked.

  10. I was in my office following the ESPN commentary and radio online. The commentary was about 2 minutes ahead of the radio broadcast, so I followed the radio for JP’s call. When LD scored, I jumped out of my chair and started bouncing around my office (others in the area were at lunch). I went to the commentary and it was slow loading due to the number of new comments because of the goal. I shed a few tears and enjoyed one of the greatest days in USMNT history!

  11. Landon has turned me into a fan of his over the last 2 years, and today was the icing on the cake! Bob has been great! Go USA!

  12. Props to BB and all, but let’s not kid ourselves. Beasley was inserted solely so that he can claim that he played in this World Cup on the chance that the US didn’t advance. Once again, he was useless and I don’t expect to see him back on the field for the rest of the tournament.

  13. Big Woop. Landycakes scored a tap-in my grandma could score. And wow, he scored a ‘crucial’ goal in the 2nd game against a team who practically had to field all its players from the same village.

    Donovan will still choke on the big stage. What has he ever done in the 2nd round of a World Cup, huh? Oh wait, Mexico 2002. Well, what has he done in the quarterfinals of a World Cup? What is that? Right, he’s done nothing in the quarterfinals or beyond of a World Cup or in the Champions League. Donovan is sooooo overrated.


    Oh and do any of you still think Dempsey doesn’t care? Does blood dripping on his face while taking a free kick have to finally put that to rest????

    Go USA.

  14. I may be off base, but the Algerians didn’t come out and bunker down. They started 3 forwards and pushed to win the game, see the last shot right to Howard. I think they tried to slow the game down in the last 15 minutes. That game was wide open otherwise we would not have gotten all the looks that we did. I think it is as simple as the USA was the better team.

    There was some cheap stuff, but no more than you see in a normal game.

  15. OK, I got beat up on Altidore. I could be wrong there, but I still like Buddle over Gomez or Findley to start. I just think our total production needs help, and he’s been good at finishing in pre-cup friendlies and MLS, and could help us out. We’ve had too many good opportunities left before the net. And I loved the timing on the subs… too many coaches leave those until it’s too late. I’m still a BB fan, just wanted to clear up the confusion and learn. After all, the best analysis I’ve read has been from this site. (Some commenter here called the Slovenia game to a T before it happened.)

  16. Exactly. Bob did the right things and even if we had lost I would still believe that (even though I would’ve been mad as hell). We can now dismiss anyone who claims the Nats won in spite of BB.

  17. Agreed. What a cheap game plan they played out. They were clearly out to ruin our chances at advancing rather than to pursue their own. Very weak and it adds to the satisfaction that they got theirs.

  18. Me too took the morning off but damn I should have taken the rest of the day off! Probably shouldn’t have taken that shot with those guys from the table next to me after the game. I was so nervous I couldn’t eat!

  19. well done brother.

    and yes, one could plainly see that the Algerians were content to simply knock off the Americans… rather than playing for their own advancement into the next round.

    one could see it in their faces, after the goal went in, they failed to knock off the Americans. They were last in the group, a tie would have done nothing for them. then we score, we advance, and it broke their heart. the pricks…

    go USA!

  20. Well, no miracle would have been needed if the Edu goal had been allowed. If anything BB and team overcame two miracles to advance: the blown call in Slovenia game and really the blown call on Dempsey’s goal.


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