The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the United States side (Tablet Magazine’s official team) through most of this morning’s match against Algeria: Though they scored in the 23rd minute, it was disallowed, like last week’s infamous non-goal, for dubious reasons. Meanwhile, England quickly secured a 1-0 lead over Slovenia, and looked unlikely to give it up. A 0-0 U.S. tie and an English victory would have spelled the end of the road.
But! After many close chances, in the 90th minute star midfielder Landon Donovan booted the ball into the net, and the otherwise-resourceful referee could not come up with a way to cancel it. Final score: 1-0. America wins Group C and advances to the elimination stage. They play Saturday. You’re a fool if you don’t watch.
Oh, and may we point out that America’s first World Cup Finals win since 2002 (!) was also the first of these games in which more than one of the squad’s Jewish players made an appearance? As happened last game, and as I predicted would happen this game, offensive-minded midfielder Benny Feilhaber was brought in for the entire second half. But additionally, defender Jonathan Bornstein (Feilhaber’s college roommate) started, and played almost the whole game. A game that, in case you hadn’t heard, we won!!!