Group C Matches:
United States 1 Algeria 0
They kept fighting…and fighting…and after 90 minutes of soccer, the Americans finally prevailed. Landon Donovan scored in second-half stoppage time off a rebound to send the Americans to the Round of 16. One minute, it seemed like they were going to be eliminated. The next minute, they win their group for the first time since 1930.
Tim Howard made a save on an Algerian header and threw the ball to Donovan on the right side of the field. Donovan sprinted through the Algerian half of the field and passed it to Jozy Altidore. Altidore then centered the ball to Clint Dempsey, but Algerian goalkeeper Rais Bolhi punched the ball out…to Landon Donovan, who then fired the shot heard around the world.
For Donovan, it was his 44th career international goal.
The goal couldn’t have come at a better time for the United States, who had been thwarted the entire match by the Algerian defense, as well as a linesman who washed off Dempsey’s goal in the 21st minute with an offsides call; replays showed that Dempsey was still onside. Dempsey had a chance to get his goal back in the 57th minute, but he struck the post on his first shot and missed on the rebound.
The United States fired a total of 22 shots, with ten being on goal; Bolhi made nine saves.
For the first time in US history, the Americans have won a World Cup match after being tied at the half. It was their first shutout in group play since 1950 against England, and it was their first shutout in their last thirteen matches.
USA will play Ghana on Saturday in the Round of 16.
England 1 Slovenia 0
Jermain Defoe’s goal in the 23rd minute lifted England to a 1-0 victory over Slovenia; Defoe’s 12th international goal was good enough to advance England past group play, but not enough to get the #1 seed in Group C. Defoe scored his goal after receiving a cross from James Milner.
Even after the goal, England continued to dominate the match, but failed to score a second goal. Slovenia also had its chances, but English goalkeeper David James made six saves en route to the clean sheet.
James and Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanovic touched the ball a combined 154 times (78 for Handanovic and 76 for James).
Wayne Rooney fired a total of four shots, but only two were on goal. He has now gone eight games (711 minutes) without a goal for England.
Because of Donovan’s late heroics in the USA/Algeria game, Slovenia has been eliminated from the World Cup.
England will play Germany on Sunday.
Group D Matches:
Australia 2 Serbia 1
Tim Cahill and Brett Holman each scored a second-half goal to lift Australia to a 2-1 victory over Serbia. Cahill scored in the 69th minute on a header, and Holman scored in the 73rd minute on a long distance shot.
However, when it was all said and done, neither team advanced to the knockout stage.
Marko Pantelic made it a game late when his goal in the 84th minute cut the Australian lead in half. However, it was not enough as Serbia ended up finishing last in the group with three points.
Had the Serbians scored the equalizer, they would have made it to the Round of 16.
Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer and Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic each made five saves.
Germany 1 Ghana 0
Celebrating after a tied game is understandable, but celebrating after losing? Apparently Ghana had a reason to. After Australia defeated Serbia, Ghana finished second in the group and will advance to the knockout stage.
Celebrations erupted on both sides of the field as the two teams live to play another World Cup match.
Mesut Oezil scored the lone goal of the game in the 60th minute on a left-footed bomb from just outside the Ghana penalty box.
Ghana will play against the United States on Saturday while the Germans battle the English on Sunday.
Half brothers Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jerome Boateng played each other in this match, with Kevin-Prince being on Ghana and Jerome being on Germany.