PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA—(AP) - Landon Donovan scored a stunning goal in the first minute of injury time, advancing the United States to the second round at the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Algeria. With the U.S. perhaps three minutes from elimination Wednesday, Donovan brought the ball upfield on a counterattack and Jozy Altidore's shot on the breakaway was tipped by Clint Dempsey into goalkeeper Rais Bolihi. The rebound went to Donovan, who kicked it in from about 8 yards for one of the biggest goals in U.S. soccer history.
"I've been through a lot in the last four years," Donovan said half an hour after the end, crying and his voice cracked. "I'm so glad it culminated this way. When you try to do things the right way, it's good to get rewarded." While he was speaking underneath the stands in the interview room, American fans were still in the stadium, waving flags and blowing vuvuzelas in celebration. The win, the first World Cup victory for the U.S. in eight years, gave the Americans first place in Group C. With just its fifth shutout in World Cup play, the United States (1-0-2) won a group for the first time since 1930 and will face the runner-up in Group D on Saturday.
As the team returned to the sideline, goalkeeper Tim Howard bounced up and down in elation. Benny Feilhaber took a water bottle and sprayed his teammates, champagne-like. "We're not done yet," Donovan said. "We believe, man. We're alive, baby." England (1-0-2), which beat Slovenia moments earlier, also had five points but finished second because the U.S. scored four goals to two for the English. Slovenia (1-1-1) was third with four points, missing advancing because of Donovan's heroics. Algeria (0-2-1) was last with one point. Until Donovan's goal, it appeared the officiating would again be the focus.
With former President Bill Clinton watching from the stands at Loftus Versfeld, a pro-American, vuvuzela-blowing crowd filled the old rugby stadium. Donovan and Dempsey all had numerous chances in the first half but either misfired or were stopped by Bolhi. Bob Bradley revamped his lineup in an effort to add speed. Jonathan Bornstein, the American player most maligned by fans, started at left back. Captain Carlos Bocanegra shifted from the left to the center, with the coach sitting center back Oguchi Onyewu. Edu started in central midfield in place of Jose Torres and Gomez, who made the World Cup roster in a surprise, started at forward for Robbie Findley, suspended for yellow card accumulation.
Algeria was making its third World Cup appearance following first-round elimination in 1982 and 1986. While the U.S. had eight shots on goal to three for Algeria, the Americans were on the edge until the very end. Finally, though, Donovan connected.
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