Soccer  > World Cup  > United States rallies to draw 2-2
June 18, 2010, 01:10 PM
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Michael Bradley scored with eight minutes remaining, completing the United States' rally from a two-goal deficit for a 2-2 draw with Slovenia to keep alive its hopes at the World Cup.

Landon Donovan started the rally in the 48th minute, and Bradley ran on to a header into space from Jozy Altidore before beating Slovenian goalkeeper Samir Handanovic from just outside the goal box.

The Americans had an apparent winner by Maurice Edu disallowed in the 85th, voided by a foul on a free kick by Donovan.

The Americans face Algeria on Wednesday in their final Group C match, needing a victory to have any chance of advancing.

"I'm proud of our guys. I don't think teams would have been able to come back after going down two goals," Donovan said. "I'm gutted. I don't know how you steal that third goal from us. We're not sure what the call was. (Mali referee Koman Coulibaly) wouldnt tell us what the call was."

It was the latest dramatic comeback by the United States, which drew Costa Rica 2-2 on a 95th-minute header by Jonathan Bornstein in its final World Cup qualifier after falling behind.

"A lot of emotion went into that second half," said U.S. manager Bob Bradley, who is the father of Michael Bradley. "It keeps us going into the last match.

"This team understands how to fight for 90 minutes."

Valter Birsa scored from distance in the 13th minute and Zlatan Ljubijankic added another on a counter three minutes before halftime to seemingly doom the Americans.

But Donovan's goal less than three minutes after the second-half kickoff revived the hopes of the United States, which pressed for the remainder of the second half and finally converted.

The United States, which surrendered goals first in three of its last four World Cup qualifying matches, again fell behind when Birsa was able to get the ball unmarked, turn and dribble within 27 meters before unleashing a left-footed shot that goalkeeper Tim Howard made no attempt.

Neither side was able to generate much for the rest of the first half until Jose Torres unleashed a left-footed free kick that Slovenian keeper Samir Handanovic had to dive at the near post to push wide.

The second Slovenian goal followed a period of several chances for the United States, starting with Torres' chance that also included a last-second clearance at the right post by Slovenian defender Bostjan Cesar with Donovan closing on an apparent open net.

Milivoje Novakovic split central defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit with a ball to Ljubijankic, who rolled a shot under Howard from inside the area.

Bob Bradley, who made one change to his starting lineup by replacing Ricardo Clark with Torres, made two substitutions to start the second half, inserting Maurice Edu for Torres, and Benny Feilhaber for Robbie Findley.

The Americans generated a chance almost immediately with Steve Cherundolo sending a ball down the right side that Cesar missed with a slide tackle attempt, allowing Donovan to gather and close on the right post before shooting into the roof of the net from near the end line.

The United States had chances later in the second half with Onyewu just behind a free kick that bounced through the Slovenian penalty area in the 51st and a turnaround shot by Altidore from the top of the area that went into Handanovic's chest.



Group C

Saturday, June 12
England 1, United States 1
Sunday, June 13
Algeria 0, Slovenia 1
Friday, June 18
Slovenia 2, United States 2
England vs. Algeria
Wednesday, June 23
United States vs. Algeria
Slovenia vs. England

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