PRETORIA, June 23- Landon Donovan scored a goal seconds into stoppage time on Wednesday to give the United States a dramatic 1-0 victory over Algeria, and handing the Americans a place in the last 16 of the World Cup.The victory gave the Americans top spot in Group C, finishing on five points like England – 1-0 winners over Slovenia also on Wednesday – but the US edged them on goals scored. Slovenia and Algeria were eliminated.
Donovan, who matched a US record with his 11th World Cup appearance, set up the decisive move with a long pass to Jozy Altidore, who raced into the penalty area only for his shot to be blocked by Algerian goalkeeper Rasis Bolhi.
Donovan following up blasted home the rebound for his fourth World Cup goal, equalling another US mark.
The Americans were minutes from crashing out as a draw with the Desert Foxes would not have been enough to move ahead of Slovenia.
At the final whistle, the Americans began jumping for joy, Donovan kicking the ball into the stands.
Already smarting from a disallowed goal late in a 2-2 draw with Slovenia last week, the Americans were stung by another questionable decision in the 20th minute against Algeria, one that grew more haunting as the match went on.
Herculez Gomez, starting in place of suspended US forward Robbie Findley, recovered his own rebound on a blocked shot and slid the ball across the goal to Clint Dempsey, who put the ball in the back of the net.
But the offside flag was up, although television replays appeared to show Dempsey onside.
In the US-Slovenia match, Mali referee Koman Coulibaly disallowed a header from Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu in the dying seconds that would have given the Americans a victory.
The Americans sent on Edu and DaMarcus Beasley late in the second half, risking all in terms of defence as they searched for the vital goal.
But a Dempsey free kick soared well over the crossbar in the 84th minute and Algeria’s Hassan Yebda flicked a shot high in the 88th minute and all seemed lost until Donovan’s heroics.
The Algerians – who failed to score once in their three matches – ended the match on an even sourer note as captain Anther Yahia was sent-off for a second bookable offence by Belgian referee Frank De Bleeckere.