I’ve been busy — and won’t be blogging much in the days to come — but given my previous posts, I felt compelled to comment on yesterday’s breathtaking U.S. win over Algeria in injury time. A few thoughts.
- I watched the game with some friends at an English pub here in Bangkok. The England-Slovenia game was on in the main bar area, and the US-Algeria game was on in a separate room.
I cannot describe the anguish I felt when England went a goal up, and when the US continued to miss chance after chance after chance. If England had won, and the US had tied or lost, our World Cup campaign would have been over. To make matters worse, another seemingly good goal was called back that should not have been called back.
And then, when all seemed lost, finally — finally — in injury time, when I must admit I thought we were finished, Landon Donovan slotted home:
- Speaking of which, Donovan has really shown his quality in this tournament. To get down the length of the pitch and be there, at the right moment, after playing hard for 90 minutes, and then to have the focus to score a goal like that…well, it’s just top-notch. Michael Bradley has also been exceptional in midfield. As so has Tim Howard in goal. Clint Dempsey has been very good going forward, as well.
- In terms of US soccer successes, the only other American victory that I can compare this to in my lifetime ((Yes, the U.S. team made it to the quarterfinals in 2002, but yesterday’s win was more dramatic.)) was Paul Caliguiri’s goal against Trinidad and Tobago in 1989. The U.S. qualified for the 1990 World Cup — the U.S.’s first World Cup appearance since 1950 — because of that long-distance effort.
When I watched that game, as a 14-year-old, I was simply astounded by the outcome. And I was similarly astounded — and so, so happy — when the U.S. team won last night.
- And finally, let me ask you this: When the World Cup draw was announced many months ago, who would have predicted that Group C would end up like this?
Up next: Ghana on Saturday…