Donovan miracle sees US through to last 16

Zeenews Bureau

Pretoria: It was a miracle on the greens for USA as Landon Donovan came with a totally spectacular goal in the 91st minute of the match. The last breath effort got the US the top position in Group C and a lifeline for the next stage of the tournament.

Donovan made sure that no-one but no-one would stop him from driving the ball into the net and send his side into the knockout stage.

The American outfit got quite a few chances at the goal post but failed to convert while the Algerians had their task cut out in containing the offence to do some magic of their own. In the end, it was the miracle goal by Donovan that did the trick for the Americans cheered by former president Bill Clinton from the stands.

American Altidore was penalised for a clumsy foul on Halliche which meant that the promising American attack broke down.

The first half of the USA-Algeria tie came up with no goals for the either sides as the furious battle for dominancy ensued a thrilling 45 minutes.

United States striker Clint Dempsey had a goal disallowed for offside to leave its last Group C match with Algeria at 0-0 after 30 minutes.

Dempsey tapped into the net from close range in the 21st minute after being fed by Herculez Gomez, who had just had a shot saved by goalkeeper Rais Bolhi in a goalmouth scramble.

Gomez had earlier drawn a two-handed save from Bolhi.

That came after Rafik Djebbour came closest to scoring Algeria`s first goal of the tournament, hitting the crossbar in the sixth minute after U.S. defender Jay DeMerit failed to clear.

USA 4-4-2: Howard, Cherundolo, Demerit, Bornstein ,Bocanegra(C), Donovan, Bradley, Edu, Dempsey, Gomez, Altidore

Algeria 3-4-2-1: Bolhi, Bougherra, Belhadj, Yahia(C), Halliche, Lacen, Djebbour, Matmour, Ziani, Yebda, Kadir