Donovan’s last-gasp strike earns Americans top spot

USA (1) vs ALGERIA(0)

LANDON DONOVAN struck a dramatic injury-time winner to fire the USA into the last 16 of the World Cup as Group C winners.

Watched by former president Bill Clinton, the Americans were on the verge of exiting the competition when the LA Galaxy man rifled the ball home after Algerian keeper Raid Ouheb M’bolhi had kept out his initial 92nd-minute effort.

It was no more than Bob Bradley’s men deserved and means they now take on Ghana in Saturday’s second round match in Rustenburg.

But for poor finishing and an impromptu assistant referee’s flag, the Americans would have been out of sight by the break – Hercules Gomez and Jozy Altidore were both denied before Donovan, inset, had the ball in the back of the net on 20 minutes, only to be harshly penalized for offside.

Algeria has earlier rattled the crossbar through Rafik Djebbour but showed precious little thereafter as the Americans dominated, only to be thwarted in the final third.

In a desperate bid for a winner, Bradley threw on attackers Edson Buddle and Benny Feilhaber, and they eventually got their reward in their third minute of added time when Altidore crossed for Dempsey, whose point-blank effort was parried by the goalkeeper, before the ex-Everton loanee rolled the loose ball into an empty net.

Algeria finished the match with ten men after captain Anthar Yahia was sent off for a second booking.