World Cup results: U.S. advances after beating Algeria 1 - 0
World Cup results are good for the U.S. as Landon Donovan scored in injury time as the United States advanced to the round of 16 with a 1-0 win over Algeria
Pretoria, South Africa
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After coming within minutes of elimination, the United States topped its group at the World Cup for the first time since 1930, leading Group C with five points. England also progressed with five points, but with an inferior goal difference, after its 1-0 win over Slovenia at Port Elizabeth.
Donovan slotted in the rebound after Algeria goalkeeper Rais Bolhi had stopped Clint Dempsey's shot from close range in the first minute of injury time. It was his fourth World Cup goal, equaling Bert Patenaude's U.S. record.
"I'm shocked. I'm so proud of our guys. Unbelievable," Donovan said. "Clint made a good run in the middle, the ball fell to me ... time kind of stopped. You can't miss from there."
Both teams had chances but failed to score during regulation time in the free-flowing match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria. A 0-0 result would have eliminated both teams, as England had just completed its win over Slovenia, which had four points going into the last match.
So it set up a tense finish for the Americans, who held England to a 1-1 draw and staged a dramatic comeback from two goals down to level at 2-2 with Slovenia in its previous matches.
As the final whistle sounded against Algeria, the U.S. substitutes and staff raced onto the field and piled on top of the players on the far sideline.
Donovan said he'd never despaired, even when the Americans hadn't been able to convert chances in regulation time.
"We believe man. We're alive baby!" said Donovan, in tears at times after the match.
Coach Bob Bradley said his U.S. team had to take risks, pushing hard for a goal to secure the win and making for a wide open game.
"We're proud," he said. "We finished first in our group. Five points. Didn't lose a match. So we're ready.
Dempsey had a goal disallowed for offside in the first half and hit the post in the second.