Donovan strikes late to secure USA top spot

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Landon Donovan struck an injury-time winner as the United States sensationally progressed through to the last 16 of the World Cup with a deserved 1-0 win over 10-man Algeria, who crash out.

The United States dominated for large periods and created a host of chances but looked set to be denied by a mixture of the woodwork, good goalkeeping and poor finishing.

However, Donovan popped up right at the end to slot into the net to send the Americans through as Group C winners ahead of England, who beat Slovenia 1-0 in the other game.

The United States will now play the second-placed team from Group D, which includes Ghana, Germany, Serbia and Australia.

It was Algeria who started brightly though and they almost took the lead in the sixth minute when Rafik Djebbour volleyed against the crossbar from 12 yards out.

The US thought they had taken the lead in the 20th minute when Herculez Gomez, having seen his first effort saved, saw his cross-shot turned in at the far post by Clint Dempsey, however, the effort was chalked off for a marginal offside.

After a slow start, the US were starting to look increasingly dangerous and Jozy Altidore blazed horribly over after the influential Donovan had dinked the ball past Rais M'Bohli to set up a magnificent opening 10 minutes before half-time.

The Americans should have scored after 56 minutes though as Dempsey, who was on the edge of the box, saw his shot rebound off the inside of the far post before the Fulham midfielder sliced the rebound wide with the goal gaping.

Dempsey was just unable to slot home after a breakaway attack, but the ball fell kindly for Donovan who slotted into a gaping net from close range.

That proved to be the winner and Algeria would end the game with 10 men when Anthar Yahia was dismissed soon after.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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