FIFA World Cup 2010: USA Scores Clutch Goal, Beats Algeria to Advance
For the third time in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Yanks have shown their relentlessness and heart in a thrilling 1-0 victory over Algeria.
In the 91st minute of a scoreless, captivating match, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, and Jozy Altidore made an incredible run leading to Donovan's game-winning goal.
The USA team is neither a glorified powerhouse like Brazil, which features Maicon and Luis Fabiano, nor are they considered a true threat like Uraguay, which is led by a contender for Player of the Tournament, Diego Forlan.
However, as underdogs with two come-from-behind matches thus far in the tournament, the USA has sent a message to their competitors:
They are not going home without a fight.
Know the Facts: USA World Cup History
When the USA team captured the 1-0 win against Algeria, it marked the first time since 1950 that the Americans won their third game in the preliminary rounds.
That's a HUGE deal for American fans; not just because of the pride that comes with victory, but because of the poor officiating that led to a brutal tie in the Slovenia vs. USA match.
The 2002 FIFA World Cup revealed a spirit and fortitude in the USA team that propelled them past the round of 16.
Just eight years ago, the USA team played stellar soccer, highlighted by their win over Mexico in the round of 16.
However, in the quarterfinals their streak ended in a loss to Germany 1-0, but marked a significant step forward.
In 2006, the USA team struggled, garnering just one tie and zero wins.
USA So Far in the World Cup
The USA made a pivotal breakthrough with their stunning late win against Algeria.
Before the Algeria victory, the USA team had picked up two separate ties.
First, they tied against England 1-1.
Second, they tied against Slovenia 2-2 in a match that featured major controversy due to the validity of calls by officials.
USA vs. Algeria: As Suspenseful As It Gets
Prior to the beginning of this match, there already loomed an aura of suspense.
This was a must-win game for the USA team.
The Americans came out aggressive and swift, but were unable to capitalize on a variety of attempts.
At one point, midfielder Clint Dempsey was in a full-out sprint and launched the ball towards the goal, but it just missed, hitting the post.
On another play, forward Jozy Altidore had a one-on-one against Algeria's goalie, Rais Bolihi but, like Dempsey, failed to put it away.
Algeria made a late, aggressive charge too, but just missed their attempt.
With three minutes left in the match and the thought of elimination ringing in the Americans' ears, they refused to succumb to another bitter tie.
Led by Jozy Altidore, the Americans suddenly were back in the heat of battle.
Altidore was stopped on a breakaway by the goalkeeper but Landon Donovan, the epitome of scrappy, had been following just behind Altidore and kicked in the rebound to win Group C and advance.
Check out Landon Donovan's goal:
What Lies Ahead
Now the USA advances.
But who will they play?
The USA will compete against the second place team of the Germany/Ghana/Serbia/Australia group.
My money is on Serbia.