One Great Season
Landon Donovan scored in the 91st minute Wednesday to give USA a 1-0 win over Algeria and advance to the Round of 16 in the World Cup.
Until Donovan's heroics, it looked like the unlucky U.S. side would play to its third straight draw and miss the knockout round once again. But the late goal didn't only give the USMNT reason to celebrate its spot in the next round, but it marked the first time since 1930 that it had won its group. England beat Slovenia, 1-0, to advance as the second-place team in Group C.
U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard saved a light header from Algeria, then quickly threw out to a streaking Donovan, who controlled the ball up the right flank, dished to Jozy Altidore, whose cross met the left foot of Clint Dempsey. Dempsey's one-timer was blocked by Algerian keeper M'bolhi Rais Ouheb, but Donovan's easy rebound found the back of the net without any trouble.
The goal set off jubilant celebrations across the globe, and of course gave Twitter users all kinds of headaches. But some were lucky enough to use the popular social-networking service, and here are some of the better updates sent in the moments after USA finished off the dramatic win:
+ @rk: "Fuck you FIFA refs. We can win without you."
+ @ashleyalderman: "My ENTIRE twitter feed just filled up with tweets that say 'gooooalllllll'. Love it."
+ @PeaceLikeDat: "Landon Donovan crashed the Tweetdeck servers!"
+ @Mengus22: "Landon Donovan went Christian Laettner on Algeria!"
+ @JoeSportsFan: "Sports Illustrated, you're on the clock to airbrush an appropriate hairline for Landon Donovan."
+ @loudibella: "That was one of the greatest moments I have seen in sports.I am teary eyed.GO USA!"
+ @slmandel: "Finally invested in a World Cup, and it paid off. Unreal. And sorry, neighbors below me."
+ @wsjcouch: "On Sportscenter, ESPN just led with Lawrence Taylor's indictment. Then did USA result. You stay classy, Bristol."
+ @wyshynski: "I'm building a Landon Donovan statue out of apple pie, BBQ and Jack Daniels in my front yard."
+ @DVNJr: "Buy stock in the MLS. Now."
+ Donovan told ESPN's Jeremy Schaap after the game, while fighting back tears, that there was no way he'd miss his golden chance: "The ball got to me and time kind of stopped ... You can't miss from there."
+ Donovan, who admittedly wasn't ready to be a leader for the 2006 Cup team, added that he's been on a four-year journey since that disappointing showing in Germany: "People that know me closest know how hard I've worked for this moment."
+ Donovan has picked up a few Twitter followers since his big goal. At 12:10 p.m. ET, he had 52,341. At 12:29, his audience was up to 52,577 and at 12:37, he had 52,705 followers.
+ U.S. coach Bob Bradley told Schaap he was proud of his players' patience: "You worry because when you've been in it a long time, sometimes on nights like that you come up short, but these guys kept going."