The US needed a miracle as time wound down and they got it from the one player who needed to show up most: Landon Donovan.
His stoppage-time goal lifted the US to a 1-0 victory over Algeria and sent the Americans into the knockout stage. Immediately after the match, he was overwhelmed with emotion.
“I’ve been on a long journey the last four years,” he told ESPN. “I’m shocked. The ball fell to me. Time kind of stopped. You can’t miss from there.”
The US pressed the entire game and deserved several goals, but they struggled to break through Algeria’s tight defense and a strong performance from goalkeeper Rais M’Bohli.
The three points actually give the Yanks top spot in Group C. They now move on to face the runner up in Group D.
“We’re not done yet,” Donovan said. “We’re alive.”