Rabu, 23 Juni 2010

Group C: USA top group, England join them

In Group C still all three teams can make it into the semifinals.

(matches to kick off simultaneously)

Slovenia 0-1 (0-1) England
Goals: 0-1 Jermaine Defoe (23').

England finally showed in phases what they are capable off as they beat Slovenia 1-0 at the Port Elizabeth Stadium to move into the Round of 16, while Slovenia couldn't play what had taken them to the top of the group in earlier matches.

The first 15 minutes of the match were scrappy, but thereafter England took control of the game and took a deserving lead in the 23rd minute. After a James Milnar cross Jermaine Defoe was there to score beating Slovenian defender Marko Suler and putting the ball past Samit Handanovic. England thereafter had chances to double their lead but it remained 1-0 until the breather.

After the break England stayed in control, but they were too wasteful with their numerous chances. The best one fell for Wayne Rooney in the 58th minute, but Handanovic was able to divert his shot onto the post. But thereafter it became a more open game with Slovenia looking for their options. They had a triple chance in the 68th minute, but Milivoje Novakovic, Zlatko Dedic and Valter Birsa couldn't put the ball into the England net. Thereafter both sides looked nervous and the match became scrappy again. The Slovenians could have equalised a minute from time through Zlatko Dedic, but the English defence denied him and kept England in the tournament.

USA 1-0 (0-0) Algeria
Goals: 1-0 Landon Donovan (90+1').

The USA needed an injury time goal to beat Algeria 1-0 at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria and now go into the pre-quarterfinals as top of Group C.

Both sides had chances to make it to the pre-quarterfinals, but Algeria needed a win to keep their slim chances alive and the Africans made a quick start with striker Rafik Djebbour hitting the crossbar in the 6th minute. The USA thereafter slowly got into the game and had their first chance through Herculez Gomez and then went on to score through Clint Dempsey, but the referee Frank de Bleeckere called an offside which wasn't one. Another denied goal for the USA. Thereafter both sides had their chances, but it ended goalless after 45 minutes.

After the break the match lost pace, but the USA could have gone ahead in the 57th minute when Clint Dempsey put the ball onto the post twice. Algeria was tiring but the USA seemed unable to use this to their advantage. The match seemed to be heading for a goalless draw when the USA scored the crucial winner which kept their World Cup campaign alive. In the first minute of injury time seasoned Landon Donovan was there to pound on the lose ball in the area with Algeria keeper Rais M'Bohli beaten.

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