USA-Algeria 1st Half

Well, I’m going to live blog USA-Algeria here.

Things are fairly clear if the US wins this match, as they will definitely advance. If they draw, they might advance, if England loses or draws and does not score more than 2 goals more than the US did.

Big storylines:
Can the US score first
Can Algeria score at all
How will a back 4 that has not played together work for the US
How will Algeria adjust to the need to attack

1st And we’re off with an early run by Algeria.

1st Mediocre cross on nice early run

4th Nice run by Algeria, who has been slightly more aggressive thus far

6th Wow, defensive mistake and the US is lucky to have an Algerian shot hit off the post, really nice feed but mostly because the defense did not work together

7th And the US counter-attack from Gomez is dangerous

9th Dempsey is high with a free kick and I wonder how they are adjusting to the special World Cup ball

9th Another opening and mistake on the back line

10th Long but ineffective run by Altidore against nice collapsing defense from Algeria

11th Corner well-earned by Algeria

12th Early well-earned yellow card from cynical tackle by Algerian, Altidore had a lot of space, though it was deep in the US end

13th Bad header for Edu gave up a worthless shot to Algeria

15th Nice stretch of possession with a fairly decent cross but a nice play by the Algerian keeper

15th Another long, errant shot from Algeria

16th Bleah, mediocre pass in US end gave easy possession to Algeria, but they squandered it, got it back, but the shot was blocked and the US has a nice counter

17th Nice attack and aggressive attempt by Gomez

18th Donovan has a nice opportunity that he boots high, might have been wiser to slide it to his left for a wide open Dempsey in the box

19th Mediocre free kick by Algeria leading to an American attack

19th Algeria defends the box really really well, in part by allowing some space on the wings and the midfield portion of their side

20th A great great flurry but the US ending in a disallowed goal which looks to be a bad call… great work by Bradley and great US persistence

22nd Altidore is very nifty at times

23rd England leading against Slovenia, bad news there

23rd Replay of the disallowed goal and it was clearly not offsides. If the US does not advance, there’s going to be some justified screaming, and they just mentioned about the referee not being in place… I wonder if their replays can show where he was 🙂

24th Great defense by the US this time

26th Dempsey is down

27th Nice little attack by Algeria

29th US has a long stretch of possession but cannot convert that to an opportunity

30th Corner to Algeria and the rebound gave Altidore a slim chance but Algeria shut that down quickly

31st Really nice work on the right side by Algeria provided a solid opportunity

33rd Cherundolo with a great cross, but nothing out of it, in part because of Donovan’s whiff of the rebound

34th Nice work in the midfield, but the crowding of Algeria deep stopped the attack

35th Really nice defense by Bocanegra, though shoddy defense elsewhere gave Algeria a opportunity

35th Great great counter-attack leading to a magnificent opportunity and a what looked at first glance to be an amazing save against a beautiful opportunity by Dempsey

36th Another missed opportunity with an open net for Altidore as he and Donovan get in each other’s way, provided by really nice work at the edge of the box

38th Nice attack by Matmoor of Algeria, who has created some dangerous chances

40th Another close offsides call, this time in the US’s favor

41st Long cross from Cherundolo, I think he needed to be more aggressive to gather the pass to him, which took a moment to get to him slowing the attack

42nd Good defense by Algeria stopped a beautiful attack by the US

42nd Odd little knuckler by Dempsey almost caused some problems

43rd Algerian counter-attack provides a decent opportunity for Ziani

44th Bradley and Donovan are making some intricate and nifty and productive moves at the top of the box

45th Nice work from Edu but the attack fizzled

ET Wow, really nice cross from Algeria to end the half

The US played a really nice half but could not finish. It was a fairly open game, showing off much of the beauty of soccer. Only one tetchy moment and it earned an early yellow card.

Right now Algeria is dangerous on counters, but only had one or two build-up attacks that I recall. The US, on the other hand, is really doing nice work in the Algerian half. Now they just need a bit of good fortune.

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