Donovan's World Class Goal Helps United States Earn Tie with Slovenia

Carlos G GironContributor IIIJune 18, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 18: Landon Donovan of the United States scores his team's first goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between Slovenia and USA at Ellis Park Stadium on June 18, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (June 18, 2010) - With a superb goal by Landon Donovan and a cool finish by Michael Bradley, the United States came from behind on a 0-2 deficit and tied with Slovenia. Team USA is still in a strong position to advance to the knock-out stage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup with a victory against Algeria in their third and final match of Group C.


Slovenia, a nation of just two million people and playing in their first World Cup finals, started the game off with fireworks leading 2-0 after the conclusion of the first half. An impressive left footed shot by Valter Birsa (13th minute) gave Slovenia the lead. The team representing the tiny Balkan nation added to their lead on counterattack with a goal by Zlatan Ljubijankic (42nd minute).


The United States began the second half with passion and fury. The team generated several scoring chances. The work paid off when Donovan (48th minute), selected as the “Budweiser Man of the Match”, took control of the ball on the right side of the penalty box and with an extremely narrow angle closed in to face the goalkeeper and then unleashed a powerful right-footed shot that zoomed over the head of net minder Samir Handanovic.


Donovan's goal was one of the best goals scored to date in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. His cool composure combined with the accuracy and power of the shot put in full display how his game has improved and reached world class stature.


Then on a terrific counterattack, with the ball redirected by a header of Jozy Altidore, Bradley (82nd minute) rushed into penalty box and volleyed the rebound with a sure-footed shot off his right boot beating Hanovic again over his head.


With the result, the United States has earned two points and remains in strong contention to advance to the second round with a win over Algeria on June 23rd in Pretoria.


A controversial referee foul call, discounted a legitimate U.S. goal by Maurice Edu after he put the ball behind the net with a left-footed shot off a free kick pass. 


Slovenia, who qualified to the World Cup after knocking out Poland, Czech Republic and Russia, continues to impress and now must face England in their final match to determine its future in this tournament.