USA top Group C after injury-time goal

United States 1 Algeria 0

Landon Donovan struck an injury-time winner as the United States sensationally progressed through to the last 16 of the World Cup with a deserved win over Algeria, who crash out.

The United States, watched on by former President Bill Clinton, dominated for large periods and created a host of chances but looked set to be denied by a mixture of the woodwork, good goalkeeping and poor finishing.

However, Donovan popped up right at the end to slot into the net to send the Americans through as Group C winners ahead of England, who beat Slovenia in the other game, The United States will now play the second-placed team from Group D, which includes Ghana, Germany, Serbia and Australia.

For Algeria, who have never progressed to the last 16 of the World Cup, they hit the woodwork early on and created a couple of other chances but were unable to net their first goal of the finals as they tumbled out.

They also finished with 10 men after captain Anthar Yahia was sent off for a second booking late on in Pretoria.

Algeria coach Rabah Saadane, knowing his side could not afford a third successive match without a goal, made one change to the team that held England 0-0, bringing in AEK Athens striker Rafik Djebbour for Ryad Boudebouz.

USA boss Bob Bradley, meanwhile, made three changes. Algeria started brightly and almost took the lead in the sixth minute when Djebbour rattled the crossbar.

US defender Jay DeMerit failed to cut out a long punt forward and Djebbour stole in behind him, controlled the ball on his chest before smashing a volley against the crossbar from 12 yards out.

It was also a big let-off for the Americans, but Bradley's side would return the favour with interest during the remainder of the period as they spurned a number of good chances themselves.

Herculez Gomez brought a save out of Rais M'Bohli, before the US thought they had taken the lead in the 20th minute when Gomez, having seen his first effort saved, saw his cross-shot turned in at the far post by Clint Dempsey.

However, the effort was chalked off for a marginal offside.

The Americans were denied a winning goal in their last match against Slovenia when Maurice Edu's late strike was controversially chalked off.

After a slow start, the US were starting to look increasingly dangerous and they created two great chances around the 35th minute.

Dempsey saw the first saved by M'Bohli after being put through by a great pass by Donovan, and then Jozy Altidore blazed horribly over after the influential Donovan had dinked the ball past M'Bohli to set up a magnificent opening.

The Desert Foxes were still posing problems of their own though, and Karim Matmour earned a corner after testing Tim Howard with a long-range thunderbolt as the half ended in stalemate.

With England leading Slovenia in the other game, both the US and Algeria were on their way out of the World Cup at the interval.

The Americans should have improved their lot in the 56th minute though as they spurned another great chance.

The ball fell invitingly for Dempsey on the edge of the box, but his shot rebounded back off the inside of the far post before the Fulham midfielder sliced the rebound wide with the goal gaping.

Bradley's side continued to dominate and Benny Feilhaber went close before his fellow substitute Edson Buddle powered a header straight at M'Bohli from five yards out.

Algeria briefly stemmed the one-way traffic when Karim Ziani dragged a shot wide from a good chance in the 69th minute, but otherwise it was largely all America.

Algeria had a late chance to snatch what could have been a winner when Rafik Saifi headed straight at Howard, and moments after that the US claimed the victory.

Dempsey was just unable to slot home after a breakaway attack, but the ball fell kindly for Donovan who slotted into a gaping net from close range.

That proved to be the winner and demoralised Algeria would end the game with 10 men when Yahia was dismissed soon after.

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'