Elated San Diegans Celebrate USA Victory

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The crowd at O'Brien's roared as Landon Donovan scored a stunning goal in the first minute of injury time.

    Bursting into song with “We Are the Champions,” the elated crowd celebrated as the United States advanced to the second round at the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Algeria.

    USA Pulls Through at the Last Minute

    [DGO] USA Pulls Through at the Last Minute
    Big day for the USA soccer team as they defeat Algeria to go on the the next round of World Cup Soccer play. (Published Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010)

    Fans started gathering around 6 a.m. -- a full hour before the game started – and even before the doors opened.

    "I'll be a little late to work today, but I told my boss that I had something important to do this morning," one fan said.

    USA Fans Erupt Over Last-Minute Goal: Raw

    [DGO] USA Fans Erupt Over Last-Minute Goal: Raw
    San Diegans packed into O'Briens in Kearny Mesa go crazy when the Team USA scores in the final moments of Wednesday's game against Algeria. (Published Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010)

    "Oh yeah, big soccer fan.  World Cup.  I never get any work done for a month," said Rebecca Vega.

    Early on in the game, American fans felt cheated.

    San Diegans Sing After Team USA Win: Raw

    [DGO] San Diegans Sing After Team USA Win: Raw
    A packed house at O'Brien's in Kearny Mesa breaks out into song after the U.S. win in soccer Wednesday. (Published Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010)

    "I think it's tough, we got cheated out of a goal.  I mean we should be up one zero right now," a fan said.

    But disputed calls by the ref were a distant memory when Landon Donovan scored a goal with just three minutes to elimination. Donovan brought the ball upfield on a counterattack and Jozy Altidore's shot on the breakaway was tipped by Clint Dempsey into goalkeeper Rais Bolihi. The rebound went to Donovan, who kicked it in from about 8 yards for one of the biggest goals in U.S. soccer history.

    "I've been through a lot in the last four years," Donovan said half an hour after the end, crying and his voice cracked. "I'm so glad it culminated this way. When you try to do things the right way, it's good to get rewarded."

    The win, the first World Cup victory for the U.S. in eight years, gave the Americans first place in Group C. With just its fifth shutout in World Cup play, the United States (1-0-2) won a group for the first time since 1930 and will face the runner-up in Group D on Saturday.