USA Gets the Battle Fever On, Beats Algeria To Advance to Knockout Stages

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06/23/2010 12:43 PM |

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June 23, 2010. A famous day, a turning point, a national celebration: the brave lads of the unsung US Soccer team have toppled mighty, um, Algeria at the last gasp, to advance to the last 16 of the World Cup.

Yes, it’s all a bit hyperbolic, but it’s a great moment, and now we know how soccer fans feel more or less all the time.

Up until deep into injury time in their match against Algeria, it looked like U-S-A! U-S-A! would be coming home from the World Cup early and aggrieved, stuck on a scoreless draw and passed in the standings by victorious England, after a nicely orchestrated first-half move ending in a Clint Dempsey gimme was called back on a dubious offsides call. Not that they’d (we’d? I’m rooting for the Dutch actually) necessarily have deserved better—just as the waving-off of their winning goal against Slovenia followed a dismal first-half defensive display, this disallowed goal preceded a parade of squandered chances: Dempsey hitting the woodwork from an angle and then scything the rebound wide of an empty net, Jozy Altidore skying a loose ball in the box in the first half, and then heading straight at Algeria’s standout goalkeeper Rais Ouheb Mbouli from the penalty spot in the second. Two minutes into injury time, they allowed Algeria a free header well saved by Tim Howard—and then, on the break, finally got one past Mbouli, who dove to clear Altidore’s centering pass off of Dempsey’s feet, but only as far out as Donovan.

So, the cardiac kids move on to play… Serbia? Probably Serbia, this Saturday afternoon. It should be fun cramming into a bar, continuing to care about soccer for a little longer.

5 Comment

  • Please excuse me, Time, for indulging to point out the following, which must be, to You, woefully obvious:

    While England was surely too busy watching her latter-day-monarch Self’s match to tune in too attentively to today’s other Group C match, and while France was surely too busy attending to other sorts of post-monarchic domestic matters (such as, perhaps, printing articles about how the World Cup has lost certain import in the wake of Her pseudo-Self-elimination), it must have been curiously enlightening, or maybe nauseating, for each nation’s respective Historical Eye to watch a nerve-rackingly exhilarating game between the United States and Algeria, if for no other reason than the inconsequential post-latter-day-revolutionary sentiment of it all.

    Rather irrelevant, useless hyperbole, I know.

    But also a bit, just a wee bit, un petit peu enchanting.

  • Well it’s Ghana. Ghana are an average team but a powerful physical team. They defend well and blow hot and cold up front. USA on the other hand attack well and defend hot and cold. This one is anyone’s guess.

    Very few African teams left, only Ghana and possibly Ivory Coast. This will probably mean that home support will rally around Ghana, like the way Irish supporters would rally around England if the competition was in Ireland and the host nation succumbed to an early exit..

    Who knows?

  • Yes, Ghana, far preferable to the negative, negligible Serbian side, from a neutral’s perspective, if not from an American fan’s. Will make for a better game–and, hey, and holy shit, one of America, Ghana, Uruguay, or South Korea will make the semifinal of the World Cup. (Probably Uruguay–Forlan has at least 2 goals left in him–but there’s not really a single one of them you would have picked as one of the 4 last squads standing, is there?)

  • After that display they will not be afraid of anybody. Think of the positivity that you would feel if you had pulled a get out of jail card like that. They are organised, can retain the ball ,can pass well and have an attacking threat and a winning mentality. It will be a physical match with Ghana and they did win the under 20 World Cup two years ago but they do not score that many. They got to the final of the African Cup of Nations but won most of the games one nil but lost the final to Egypt . I should know I lost money on that one. I just hope that for all teams that have to rely on sheer hard work and dedication rather than other worldly talent the Americians lads but in another quality performance and advance again.

  • I did say USA semi-finals or bust! Let’s shock the world- USA – Brazil in the final, confed cup 2009 rematch. Uruguay looked weaker than Mexico, we can deal with them, this will be a toss-up game if it happens. That being said nothing is gonna be easy, it wasn’t easy up to now and just getting harder here on in. Hopefully Bradly is hammering the point that we have to treat every game like this is the final. Yes I was one of those crazy fools shaking and crying after USA scored and still screaming this is not over YET! I mean that corner kick at the end, holy crap…