World Cup 2010: U.S. vs. Algeria, Never Say Die!
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 closers.
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 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.