Undefeated - The U.S moves on to the round of 16 at World Cup
By Jon D. Gaede, BVN Staff –
In a gut wrenching soccer marathon at Pretoria, South Africa, the United States National Soccer team scored in the 92nd minute of extra time to win 1-0 over Algeria.
For the first time since 1930, the U.S. won their group, which includes the United Kingdom. By earning five points in group play, the scrappy American team is undefeated thus far, as they ride a tide of pure emotion.
Former President Bill Clinton anxiously watched every touch from his box at Pretoria. The ESPN camera’s would routinely cut to his grimace as the U.S. launched unsuccessful goal attempts, all game long.
For the players and the ex-president, the memory of having a winning goal disallowed in a previous game against Slovenia would continue to haunt them. It appeared that the soccer god’s would offer no justice as Clint Dempsey’s goal was called off side in the first half.
American character would be tested by both the referees and their uniformed opponents on the field. Needing a win to stay alive, the U.S. attacked the Algerian goal keeper throughout the match.
Algerian keeper Rais Bolihi was up to the task as he relentlessly blocked 19 direct shots on goal. Satisfaction and elation came on U.S. attempt number 20. In the 92nd minute, Landon Donovan followed up a Jozy Altidore blast, which came off the Algerian keeper.
It was Donovan’s 44th international goal and a very big one for the United States. At halftime, the U.S. knew that England was ahead 1-0 in their match with Slovenia. If this scenario would hold, the Americans would go home early again.
With relentless passion, the U.S. through everything they had into their offensive attack.
With time running out, the Hollywood ending replaced the frustration with unconfined joy.
Local players Maurice Edu (Etiwanda) and Carlos Bocanegra (Alta Loma) dog piled on Landon Donovan (Redlands East Valley) to celebrate and savor the moment.
At press time, the U.S. will face the Group C runner up, likely Serbia, in the single elimination, (round of death) phase of World Cup, on Saturday.
*A special program note.
Catch a heartwarming series on ESPN, featuring Sal Masekela, “Through My Father’s Eyes”. The ten part documentary from South Africa, retraces the journey of his father, legendary jazz musician, Hugh Masekela.
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