Cardiac kids do it!

[USA-ALGERIA] Has there ever been a more dramatic goal in U.S. history? Landon Donovan scored in stoppage time and gave the USA a 1-0 win over Algeria that sent it into the second round of the World Cup as the Group C winner. Here's what we liked and didn't like about Wednesday's game ...

(Note: The USA-Algeria match will be re-aired Wednesday night as an “Instant Classic” on ESPN Classic at 6 p.m. ET and ESPN2 at 10 p.m.)

What we liked ...

-- Landon Donovan
's goal 45 seconds into stoppage was the latest goal the USA has ever scored in the World Cup and will go down as the most dramatic goal in U.S. history. It was fitting that the U.S. star on whom there was the most pressure came through with a goal. Donovan scored to the far post from seven yards following a darting run into the box after Algeria's superb goalie, Rais Bolhi, failed to hold to a shot from Jozy Altidore to Clint Dempsey on the doorstep. The goal came after, it must be said, what had been a rather quiet game from Donovan.

-- The dramatic manner by which the USA qualified is the kind of moment American soccer has always sought. It was certainly in sharp contrast to the manner the Americans qualified eight years ago -- falling to Poland, 3-1, but advancing when Park Ji-Sung's goal for South Korea eliminated Portugal.

-- The result marked the first time in 80 years the Americans have won and gone unbeaten in their group. It set up a game against Ghana, the Group D runner-up, on Saturday on ABC at 2:30 pm ET.

-- The Americans piled on the pressure against the Desert Foxes, finishing with twice as many shots (22) as fouls (11). Altidore had only one of the 22 shots but was again a force throughout the game in the U.S. attack, taking on defenders. On the winning goal, he stayed onside to take Donovan's pass and play the ball into the box.

-- Tim Howard earned only the USA's second shutout at the World Cup in 60 years, but it was his distribution that was the difference in the game. He made a quick release to Donovan after saving Rafik Saifi's weak header from close range.

What we didn't like ...

-- Once again, the USA had what appeared to be a valid goal disallowed. Dempsey scored on a pass from Hercules Gomez but was called offside in the 20th minute. On replays, the Fulham striker appeared to be even.

-- Can you ever remember the USA missing more chances? Dempsey had 10 shots but couldn't score. He hit the post in the second half and then put the rebound wide of the goal.

-- Finally, the USA didn't give up an early goal but it was sure close. Forward Rafik Djebbour, the lone change in the Algerian lineup, hit the crossbar in the 6th minute.

June 23 in Pretoria
USA 1 Algeria 0. Goal: Donovan 91+.
USA -- Howard, Cherundolo, DeMerit, Bocanegra, Bornstein (Beasley, 80), Donovan, Bradley, Edu (Buddle, 64), Dempsey, Gomez (Feilhaber, 46), Altidore.
Algeria -- Bolhi, Bougherra, Belhadj, Yahia, Halliche, Lacen, Matmour (Saifi, 85), Ziani (Guedioura, 69), Yebda, Kadir, Djebbour (Ghezzal, 65).
Yellow Cards: USA -- Altidore 62, Beasley 90; Algeria -- Yebda 12, Yahia 76, Lacen 83, Yahia 90+3.
Red Card: Algeria -- Yahia 90+3.
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium).
Att.: 35,827.

16 comments about "Cardiac kids do it!".
  1. Ryan Loechner, June 23, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.

    LET'S GO USA!!

  2. Gus Keri, June 23, 2010 at 1:52 p.m.

    Most likely, the USA will play one of the three teams that ended their runs in the last three world cups; Ghana (2006), Germany (2002) or Serbia (Yugoslavia 1998).

  3. Gus Keri, June 23, 2010 at 1:52 p.m.

    With today's game, Landon Donovan shares the lead for most goals and most appearances in the WC finals.
    On the top of the goalscorers list, he joined Bert Patenaude who scored 4 goals in 1930 WC.
    On the list of most frequent appearances, he joined Earnie Stewart and Cobi Jones with 11 appearnaces; But all of his appearances are starts while Stewart started 8 games and Cobi started 4 goals only.

  4. Christopher Holden, June 23, 2010 at 3:39 p.m.

    Big emotional win for Team USA. Tim Howard massive assist on winning strike. Congrats to all the players and coaches. Well deserved win. Get ready for another big game on Saturday! Group C Winners we are proud of you.

  5. Ted Westervelt, June 23, 2010 at 3:53 p.m.

    I wonder what happens when Bradley starts his best 11?

    You can't argue the result, Bradley's personnel choices are bizarre at best. He keeps inserting Buddle and Findley despite the fact that they are in way over their heads. Also, the multitasking of Donovan is continually frustrating. Who else do you want in the 18 yard box with the goal at his feet? His service hasn't been great, and his defense not outstanding, and the depth chart at forward is microscopic. He needs to be where he's most needed, and on this roster, that's as close to the goal as possible.

    This is the third trip to second round in five WCs, arguably from the weakest group. Advancing shouldn't still be the only goal, right?

  6. Walt Pericciuoli, June 23, 2010 at 5:11 p.m.

    Great job USA by everyone. I thought M. Bradley had a great day, Bronestein did not hurt us. After a shakey first couple of minutes, J. DeMerit was best defender on the field. All things are possible from here on in.

  7. Hector Jordan, June 23, 2010 at 5:14 p.m.

    I'm so proud of these guys ,but gotta admit they make me suffer more than any ex girlfriend ever did! ..Ghana is next ..but we could see Argentina after that;or even, may be a replay from WC 2002 vs Mexico again.. i need a drink..

  8. James Madison, June 23, 2010 at 5:47 p.m.

    Great result, but notice the positive difference Feilhaber made both today and against Slovenia. It will be tough to play on only two days rest, but keep Edu on, move Dempsey up alongside Altidore and play Feilhaber midfield against Ghana, and we have a decent shot at reversing the 2006 result in Germany.

  9. Steven SIegel, June 23, 2010 at 6:53 p.m.

    I agree with Ted W., as I've said before, I would push Landon Donovan forward.

    Ghana is a very formidable opponent. They gave Germany a very good match and had their moments of extreme danger. There's no point in looking past the next round as it will take a great game for the US to advance.

  10. Alex G. Sicre, June 23, 2010 at 7:54 p.m.

    Hooray for the U.S.NT. I'm exhausted and proud. You guys never gave up. Fitness really showed today. Ghana will be tough but you can wear them down. Go Go Go USA.

  11. Frank Cebul, June 23, 2010 at 10:46 p.m.

    1) The bloodied Clint Dempsey reminded me of the past scene of a bloodied Brian McBride--surely a symbol of USA determination and grit. Dempsey really stepped up his game today.
    2) I was surprised that Gooch was not a late sub instead of Beasley. Any reason to suspect that Gooch has aggravated his knee injury? Will he be able to play against Ghana? Though Demerit and Bocanegra worked hard, the center of the field often needed stiffer, more organized defense. Hopefully the team will figure it out by Saturday.
    3) Good timely substitutions by Coach Bradley, and it seemed that he had his team more fired up to play from the starting whistle. Impressive team effort.

  12. Frank Cebul, June 23, 2010 at 10:50 p.m.

    Algeria's Matmour was a constant threat in the first half, but then disappeared from view. Whoever was responsible for defensively taking him out of the game should be recognized. Was it Bradley, after Feilhaber entered the game?

  13. karl ortmertl, June 24, 2010 at 12:16 a.m.

    It looks like fate to me. We got the easiest group in the draw. Now we get a remarkably easy bracket with Uruguay, South Korea and Ghana. That said, as much as I like the US team, they're probably only 50-50 against any of these three.

  14. Gil Ramirez, June 24, 2010 at 1:53 p.m.

    There is nothing easy on a knock-out stage. Ghana, like the US, has trouble scoring on cue, and like the US, their Back-line can be dicey. This is going to be a pretty even-matched game. I go for another 1-0 roller-coaster for the USA!

  15. Gil Ramirez, June 24, 2010 at 1:54 p.m.

    ooh, but not with a late minute goal thsi time!

  16. david caetano, June 25, 2010 at 4:23 a.m.

    Exciting game. Goals need to be missed in order to score. I wrote this after the 1st WC game. "You need a Donavan who has got to be one of the best in the world." I played pro in europe many years ago and for many years new he exceptional.

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