With the U.S. perhaps three minutes from elimination, Jozy Altidore was stopped on a breakaway by goalkeeper Rais Bolihi. Donovan hustled in and kicked in the rebound to win Group C Wednesday.
After his U.S. record 44th international goal, Donovan joyously ran to the corner flag and his teammates ran down the touchline to mob him. Donovan was in tears when the game ended and the United States had moved into the second round.
With just its fifth shutout in World Cup play, the United States (1-0-2) won a World Cup group for the first time since 1930 and will face the runner-up in Group D this weekend.
England (1-0-2), which beat Slovenia moments earlier, also had five points but finished second because the U.S. scored four goals to two for the English. Slovenia (1-1-1) was third with four points, missing advancing because of Donovan’s heroics. and Algeria (0-2-1) was last with one.
Until Donovan’s goal, it appeared the officiating would again be the focus.
Clint Dempsey put the ball in the net in the 21st minute off the rebound of Herculez Gomez’s shot. But the goal was called offside, just as Maurice Edu’s late goal was disallowed against Slovenia last week, a score that would have given the Americans a victory. Replays appeared to show Dempsey was onside.
Dempsey had another great chance in the 57th minute when Michael Bradley stole the ball and sent Altidore streaking down the right side. Altidore crossed, but Dempsey’s hit the goalpost. He shot wide on the rebound.