The U.S. has advanced to the second round of the World Cup on a 1-0 victory over Algeria. The goal came in the 91st minute. It was off the foot of Landon Donovan, who also helped set it up, but Tim Howard, Jozy Altidore, and Clint Dempsey were all involved.
Algeria might be hard-pressed to score if it played the entire World Cup field, but they are strong defensively (just ask England), and, with the help of a terrible off-sides call, nearly denied us our well deserved victory.
The half-time insertion of Benny Feilhaber once again improved the team, I thought. And I still believe the U.S. needs width on both sides of the field, not just the side Donovan plays on. However, I understand why we were reluctant to push the inexperienced (at this level) left-back Jonathan Bornstein into the attack.
Looking ahead, the U.S., has a good chance of avoiding powerful Germany in the round of 16 (we’ll find out for sure this afternoon). We certainly deserve to play a lesser opponent, as winners of our group. Let England play its old adversary the Germans, as a penalty for its poor performance in the group stage.
Here are the possibilities, I think. If Gemany beats Ghana today, we will play Ghana or Serbia, depending on the result of the Serbia-Australia match. If Germany somehow loses to Ghana, Germany will be out of the tournament and we will play Serbia, unless Serbia manages to lose to Australia. In that event, we will play Germany.
If Germany and Ghana draw, then we will play Germany unless Serbia defeats Australia, which I think it has a slightly better than even chance of doing. In this scenario, a Serbian victory leaves us playing Ghana, with the Germans out of the tournament.
UPDATE: We will take on Ghana, who lost to Germany 1-0. Australia (with the help of a goal from Everton’s Tim Cahill) defeated overrated Serbia 2-1.
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