USA vs. Algeria: Matchday Commentary

USA vs. Algeria: Matchday Commentary

U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. Algeria: Matchday Commentary

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Us-soccer-fed1Algeria

The U.S. men's national team takes on Algeria today in a crucial World Cup match that could help the Americans reach the second round with a win.

I will be providing commentary on the match throughout the day so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (comments and lineups after the jump):

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FINAL– That's it for me. Be sure to check out all our post-match coverage on SBI, as well as my post-match analysis on FoxSoccer.com. Enjoy the rest of a great day for American soccer. 

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FINAL– That "USA can get to the semifinals" story I wrote before the tournament isn't looking so crazy now, is it?

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FINAL– What a night (or morning where you'are). The United States is heading into the second round as group winners, and will take on the second-place team from Group D, which will either be Ghana, Serbia or Germany. 

The United States will play on Saturday in Rustenberg. Will you be there?

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FINAL– Great scenes here in Pretoria as the the USA team claps for their fans, who are all still here. What a scene.

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FINAL– England held on for 1-0 win vs. Slovenia. USA finishes top of the group on total goals.

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FINAL– Thje Americans kept fighting and fighting and creating chances and just when it looked lost, they mustered one more chance and finished it. Great heart and determination from this group to win today.

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FINAL– USA 1, Algeria 0. USA IS THROUGH!!!! And the Americans WIN THE GROUP!!!

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94th Minute– Not much time left. Can they hold on? Algeria looks dazed.

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93rd Minute– Algeria red card to the captain, Yahia. Algeria losing it again. They're known for this.

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92nd Minute– Landon Donovan with the finish, tapping home a rebounded save off a Dempsey shot. Can the USA hold on these last two minutes?

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91st Minute– GOAL USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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90th Minute– Four minutes of stoppage time. Plenty of time for the Americans.

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90th Minute– Final minute, plus stoppage time.

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89th Minute– Americans running out of time. They MUST have a goal.

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88th Minute– Americans can't get the ball back now. Clock is ticking. Algeria is pressing.

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87th Minute– Bougherra has played great for Algeria today. He and the keeper have been great.

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86th Minute– Rafik Saifi comes in for Matmour for Algeria's last sub.

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85th Minute– Five minutes left. Can the Americans find a goal?

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84th Minute– Dempsey skies it over the bar. Went for power instead orf placement.

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82nd Minute– Altidore with a great run forward to draw a foul and yellow card. USA free kick about 30 yards from goal, straight ahead.

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81st Minute– Algeria captain Anther Yahia punched Dempsey in the face off the ball. It was a back-hand, but Dempsey is getting treated now for the cut lip.

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81st Minute– Less than 10 minutes to go in USA's World Cup. Can they find the goal?

Beasley is about to come into the match. He comes in for Bornstein, who played very well today.

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80th Minute– Bradley drives a blast right at the keeper, who does well to stop it. USA corner. Cleared out.

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79th Minute– USA free kick and it's Dempsrey drawing it about 28 yards out, to the left of the arc.

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76th Minute– Altidore draws another foul, and a yellow to Anther Yahia.

Less than 15 minutes to go. England still leads Slovenia 1-0.

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74th Minute– Bradley heads Donovan's free kick over.

Algeria races back and Ghezzal forces an easy save from Howard. Algeria starting to push forward more.

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73rd Minute– Algeria needs a win here too, but you don't get the same sense of urgency from them.

FOUL ON ALTIDORE. USA with a dangerous free kick about 25 yards from goal, above the left corner. That's DOnovan territory.

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72nd Minute– Clock is ticking. USA needs a goal.

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70th Minute– Algeria has made two subs so far. Abdelkader Ghezzal also came into the match earlier. He of the quick red card in the Slovenia match.

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69th Minute– Ziani comes out, Adlane Guedioura is in now.

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69th Minute– Ziani with a great look for Algeria but it goes WIDE

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68th Minute– USA goes close AGAIN. Algeria's keeper has been great today.

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67th Minute– Bougherra with a surging run forward. He's like a Wal-Mart Lucio.

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66th Minute– Dempsey heads it wide as Buddle just misses a chance to get to it.

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66th Minute– Great run from Feilhaber, forces a corner.

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65th Minute– Buddle for Edu. USA with Buddle and Altidore up top, Dempsey and Donovan on the wings.

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64th Minute– Edson Buddle is getting ready to come in. For Altidore?

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62nd Minute– Altidore draws a yellow for a foul (or dissent). Not clear since it was delayed.

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60th Minute– DeMerit has a wrap on his right knee. Could he be favoring it? He's settled down this half.

Can Dempsey re-focus and score his third career World Cup goal? He's come close a few times today.

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58th Minute– Wow, what a chance, created by Altidore, to Dempsey in the area. His shot caroms off the right post and back to him. What a chance.

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57th Minute– DEMPSEY OFF THE POST!!!!!!!!!

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54th Minute– USA needs to attack through the middle because Algeria has thwarted most aerial attacks. They've
got the passers to do it, they can't settle for crosses in from the flank.

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53rd Minute– Bradley is taking more of an advanced role as he tries to play the role of facilitator.

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51st Minute– Both teams need a win here. When will the pressure start leading to mistakes, and who will make them?

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48th Minute– Algeria keeper Bohli with the catch of the USA ball into the area.

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47th Minute– USA draws a foul, Feilhaber taken down.

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46th Minute– We're back.

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HALFTIME– Feilhaber will man the left wing, Dempsey moves up top. 

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HALFTIME– Looks like Benny Feilhaber is coming in. Looks to be for Gomez.

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HALFTIME– England leading Slovenia isn't good for the USA, but here's an interesting stat. England has failed to win in the past four World Cup matches it has led at halftime against European opponents. Hey, it's a reach, but it's a stat. Can Slovenia fight back?

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HALFTIME– If you're following the commentary today please let me know where you're following from. 

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HALFTIME– Who has played well? I'd say Gomez, Bradley, Bornstein, Donovan and Cherundolo have all done well in the first half. Not many bad performances to be honest, aside from the finishing and Demerit's positioning. If they can tighten up the spacing in the back, and take their chances better, they can win this match. 

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HALFTIME– That Dempsey goal ruled offside was such a close call. Watching the replay I can't see how he wasn't even.

You also have to think Gomez wishes he could take his chance back when he went in alone on the keeper. There was also the chance where Altidore and Donovan went for the same shot from close range and skied it. 

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HALFTIME– The Americans can't complain about their offense creating chances, but they need to finish better. Defensively, the back four has struggled at times with Algeria's shifty and free-flowing formation changes. Matmour floats from being a forward to being a midfielder, and DeMerit has struggled at times to find his man. He will need to play a better second half if the Americans are going to win this game. 

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HALFTIME– USA 0, Algeria 0. Americans created more chances, and better chances, but have no goals to show for it. Algeria hasn't been a pushover, but they've been broken down in the final third a few times.

In the other Group C game, it's England 1, Slovenia 0.

Right now the USA would be out of the tournament if the scores in these games hold. England would win the group, Slovenia would finish second. 

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45th Minute– Algeria with one final rush. Nothing comes of it.

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45th Minute– USA on the attack, but can't find the final pass.

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43rd Minute– Ziani goes wide with a look from distance.

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42nd Minute– Dempsey tries one from distance. Americans can't start settling for shots from deep. They've passed well and have created chances.

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41st Minute– England still leads Slovenia, 1-0. This one is still scoreless.

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40th Minute– If you had to have picked a USA defender to have a shocking game today it probably wouldn't have been DeMerit, would it?

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38th Minute– Matmour with a shot from distance that forces a save. USA centerbacks are having trouble dealing with Matmour's floating and the streaking in of other midfielders.

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36th Minute– WOW, Altidore just missed a sitter. Actually, I'm not sure if it was Altidore or Donovan who hit that. They both swung at it. Great pass by Bradley on that sequence.

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35th Minute– Great passing sequence sees Donovan find Dempsey, but the Algeria keeper makes a good save on Dempsey.

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34th Minute– Is it me or has DeMerit looked a bit lost today?

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33rd Minute– Nice ball in from Cherundolo, who has settled into a good game, he's had two good games already this tournament.

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32nd Minute– Americans had some early chances, but still need a goal. Algeria has done well defensively not to get caught stretched in its own attack.

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30th Minute– Algeria corner kick.

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26th Minute– As it stands right now, USA would not advance. England and Slovenia would based on current scores.

USA 0, Algeria 0. 

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24th Minute– For those wondering, England is up, 1-0, on Slovenia, thanks to a Jermaine DeFoe goal.

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22nd Minute– Will the USA ever get a call in their favor, a close call, in a World Cup?

If Dempsey was off, it was by an inch.

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21st Minute– Gomez with a wide-open look on that play, but he blasted it into the keeper. Needs to pick a corner there.

Americans are on the attack now. Algeria on the back-foot.

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20th Minute– WOW, what a close call of offside on a Dempsey goal. Not sure about that one at all.

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19th Minute– Bornstein is doing a good job early on. Can the Americans find some chances now?

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18th Minute– Belhadj looks to be staying back, making Algeria's lineup as much a 4-5-1. It varies from 3-5-2 to 3-6-1 to 4-5-1.

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17th Minute– Gomez goes for the volley, but skies it. Nice idea. Would have torn the roof off if he hit it.

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16th Minute– Bill Clinton is in the house. Sitting with Sepp Blatter, telling him the USA WILL get the 2022 World Cup.

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15th Minute– Nadir Belhadj is a handful, and will be for Donovan and Cherundolo today.

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14th Minute– USA must do a better job of keeping tabs on Karim Matmour, who floats from the forward line to deep in midfield. If someone is going to shake loose for Algeria it could be him today.

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12th Minute– Hassan Yebda with a foul and yellow card for taking down Altidore. If yellow cards drawn were a stat kept by FIFA, Altidore would have to be leading this tournament.

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11th Minute– Algeria corner.

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10th Minute– Some nervy moments from the USA back-line, but not by Bornstein.

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9th Minute– Dempsey sends a free kick well high.

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7th Minute– Americans dodged a bullet on that Djebbour shot, he got a clear look from close and rocketed off the crossbar. They're lucky to not be behind.

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6th Minute– GOMEZ with a BLAST, forcing a corner

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6th Minute– Djebbour OFF THE CROSSBAR!!!

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5th Minute– Edu hits his long pass too hard and it goes out of bounds. His passing needed to be a bit sharper vs. Slovenia. Can he tighten it up today?

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4th Minute– Nice job by Bornstein to block a Yebda cross. Bornstein will be tested today. Can he hold up?

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2nd Minute– As expected, Bougherra is staying on Altidore. Can Gomez get the better of Anther Yahia, the Algeria captain?

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1st Minute– We're off and Karim Matmour wastes no time taking a hard shot from distance that goes over.

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PRE-GAME– USA stayed in their huddle for a long time. They look pumped up for today's match. Will they start strong?

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PRE-GAME– ISA is in the all-white uniform today. Algeria in all-green.

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PRE-GAME– How about Herculez Gomez getting the start today? The guy has had a dream run, from unemployed, to scoring champion to starter in a big World Cup match. Can he provide the storybook ending with a goal or two today?

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PRE-GAME– Anthems are over and it's fair to say Algeria is enjoying the edge in fan support today.

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PRE-GAME– Teams are walking out. It really is a shame how many empty seats there are here.

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PRE-GAME– The Belhadj-Cherundolo match-up will be a key one, as will the likely Bougherra-Altidore match-up. If Gomez can do a good job of running off Altidore, the Americans should find some chances for their forwards.

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PRE-GAME– Did I mention what a beautiful day it is here? It's sunny and just plain perfect. Hopefully the soccer is as good as the weather.

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PRE-GAME– As you might expect, Algerians won't be outnumbered today. They've got a good amount of fans here, though we won't know for a while what the actual breakdown is here. USA fans won't be overwhelmed, but they won't have the advantage they had against Slovenia.

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PRE-GAME- It's a festive scene in the stadium today, though it's far from filled at this point.

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PRE-GAME– I'm heading into the stadium. Be back in a few.

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PRE-GAME– Algeria can also drop into a 4-4-2, and Matmour can drop into midfield, but I think we'll see Djebbour and Matmour up top.

The key for the USA, or one key, will be keeping tabs on Ziani, who likes to float from the wings to the middle, and something tells me his coaches will want him attacking Bornstein's side of the field.

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PRE-GAME– Here is Algeria's lineup:

———-Djebbour———Matmour———–

———————Ziani————————–

Belhadj—–Lacen———Yebda———–Kadir

———Yahia——Halliche—–Bougherra——–

———————–Bolhi———————- 

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PRE-GAME-It's the USA defense I mentioned earlier today in the pre-game tailgate. That back four is arguably the quickest Bradley can trot out, which will be necessary against Algeria's fast attack. Whether it is a case of Onyewu being hurt, or perhaps him needing a rest, is unclear.

Another surprise is Herculez Gomez getting the start up top. To be fair, it shouldn't be a complete surprise because he brings more of a speed element to the forward lineup. It can be argued that Altidore and Edson Buddle are a bit too similar to play together as starters.

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PRE-GAME– Here is the USA starting lineup:

————-Altidore———–Gomez—————-

Dempsey————————————-Donovan

—————–Bradley——Edu———————–

Bornstein–Bocanegra—-DeMerit——-Cherundolo

———————–Howard—————————-

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