Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

U.S. and Slovenia draw in Group C thriller

Landon Donovan celebrates his superb goal for the United States at Ellis Park.
Landon Donovan celebrates his superb goal for the United States at Ellis Park.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • United States come from two down to draw 2-2 against Slovenia
  • Valter Birsa and striker Zlatan Ljubijankic put Slovenians ahead in first half
  • Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley score U.S. goals at Ellis Park
  • NEW: England and Algeria draw 0-0 in later Group C game

(CNN) -- The United States came back from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with Slovenia in a pulsating World Cup Group C encounter in Johannesburg on Friday.

First half goals from midfielder Valter Birsa and striker Zlatan Ljubijankic looked to be enough to guarantee Slovenia would reach the last 16, but it proved only the signal for a courageous fight back by the U.S.

LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan pulled the first goal back in the 48th minute as he smashed his shot into the roof of the net with ferocious power.

The equalizer came with nine minutes remaining as Jozy Altidore headed down for Michael Bradley -- son of coach Bob Bradley -- to convert with an equally emphatic strike.

The U.S. looked to have scored the winner when Maurice Edu prodded home a Donovan free kick from the right, but referee Koman Coulibaly had already blown for a foul to the dismay of the Americans.

I am assuming it was a foul, it couldn't have been an offside, we asked the referee many times, but he couldn't explain it
--Landon Donovan
RELATED TOPICS

"I am assuming it was a foul, it couldn't have been an offside, we asked the referee many times, but he couldn't explain it," man of the match Donovan told AFP.

With England and Algeria drawing 0-0 in the later Group C match in Cape Town on Friday, all four teams can still qualify for the last 16 knockout stages.

Group leaders Slovenia, who have four points, take on England, while the U.S play Algeria.

England and the U.S are tied on two points, with Algeria the outsiders with a single point after two games.

SI: Referee cost U.S. three points

Slovenia, the smallest nation by population in the finals at just over two million, had made a perfect start as Auxerre's Birsa beat U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard from 30 meters out in the 13th minute.

The U.S. threatened an equalizer when Bradley's shot was cleared off the line, but with three minutes left of the half, Ljubijankic took a pass which beat the offside trap, and shot past Howard.

Part of complete coverage on
Psychic octopus to retire
Paul the octopus, who correctly predicted the outcome of eight World Cup matches in a row, is retiring from the forecasting business.
CNN's Twitter Buzz
Who's tweeting about what? Follow the World Cup trends and all the latest action from South Africa.
Are you passionate enough?
Are you a fanatical supporter of your national football team? Do you like to shout about your opinions? Become a CNN Super Fan!
Results and Standings
Check out all the scores, group tables and fixtures
CNN teams up with Foursquare
Let your friends know where you're watching the World Cup, and earn CNN badges while you're having fun.