Team USA is moving on the knockout round of the World Cup the only way America knows how - with drama and determination and come-from-behind heroics! After overcoming even more crappy FIFA officiating, an unyielding Algerian goalkeeper, England's 1-0 win over Slovenia, goal differentials, and Koman Coulibaly's asscrack call in their previous match, the U.S. earned it's spot in the Round of 16 after a spectacular rebound shot by Langdon Donovan in stoppage time. The 1-0 win over Algeria will no doubt top the greatest game in U.S. soccer history. This not only means the U.S. is on to play with the big boys. It also marks the first time the U.S. wins a World Cup group since 1930, taking Group C over the heavily favored English, who finish second. Stick that in your broken oil pipes and smoke it, England!
The game was a never-ending carousel of emotions, as both teams took
spectacular shots on goal that never connected. With both the U.S. and
Algeria needing a win to advance (a tie would have meant elimination for
both, due to England's 1-0 win over Slovenia), the action was
relentless through the entirety of the 94 minutes of play. And the U.S.
blew chance after chance to put the ball in the net. With time running
out, and every missed shot signaling its demise from the tournament, the
U.S. players were forgetting all too well that coffee is indeed for
Still, it appeared that the craptacular FIFA officiating was going to be
the ultimate undoing of U.S. soccer in the 2010 World Cup when, during
the 20th minute of play, Clint Dempsey's goal was disallowed on a
questionable off-sides call by the linesman. Dempsey, positioned at the
far post, fired the ball into the net after rebounding teammate Herculez
Gomez's missed shot, but the Belgian linesman raised his flag,
nullifying yet another U.S. goal. Replays clearly showed Dempsey was not
off-sides. Replays also clearly showed that FIFA referees continue to
be downright atrocious.
But, if all six Rocky movies have taught us anything, it's that America
never quits! It has the eye of the tiger! It takes it to the limit! It
has robot butlers! Just as hope was slowly, agonizingly ebbing away with
the nil-nil result, the official clock reading that only four minutes
remained, Langdon Donovan stepped up and carved his name into American
sports lore. With less than three minutes remaining Dempsey took the
shot, it rebounded off Algerian keeper Rais Bolhi, and Donovan, as all
world-class strikers do, came flying in from behind, rocketing in the
rebound and making an entire nation go completely bananas. Two minutes
later, the U.S. was celebrating an unlikely, Hollywood ending win.
Brazil and Argentina may know how to create magic with the ball, but no
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one can create magic out of the moment quite like the U.S.A.
The U.S. will play Saturday against the second place team from Group D
(either Ghana, Serbia or Germany) at 2 p.m.