In about the time it will take you to read this paragraph, the tenor of the world's most spectacular sports tournament changed for the United States. Like a lightning strike, the U.S. turned a stoppage-time counterattack into the most dramatic World Cup goal it ever has scored to beat Algeria 1-0, win the pool and avoid going home dejected.
Landon Donovan (10) celebrates his goal with forward Edson Buddle.
"You go from despair to complete exhilaration in the 13 seconds it took to go from one end to the other," Bills offensive lineman Kirk Chambers said.
Chambers didn't see Landon Donovan convert the rebound Wednesday morning. Chambers was on the practice field for the first day of Bills minicamp. "I have to work -- like a lot of people," he said. But when a Bills employee rushed out to inform Chambers of the result, they embraced in celebration.
Chambers loves soccer, but he had been a bit grumpy before Wednesday.
Had Donovan not scored 45 seconds into four minutes of injury time, then the disallowed goal against Slovenia would have been the signature moment of the World Cup stateside.
"There may be some fans converted here," Chambers said. "Without that goal, then it's just another World Cup where the U.S. disappoints. If three more minutes run off the clock and there's no goal, we have another four years to ho-hum about not making it through group play again.
"It was a big goal. Of course, football is my first love, but this proves that soccer is a fun sport. There really is a lot to love. You just have to put a little effort into it."
Chambers watched Wednesday's white-knuckler on DVR, but he will be able to soak in Saturday morning's match against Ghana at home. Bills camp breaks Friday, allowing Chambers to enjoy U.S.-Ghana with his brothers at home in Provo, Utah.
Chambers should be 2-0 in picking matches so far. He forecasted a 2-1 U.S. victory over Slovenia (should have been a 3-2 victory) and nailed his 1-nil prediction for Wednesday.
He thinks the U.S. will beat Ghana 2-1.
"Ghana, I think we owe them a little payback for kicking us out of group play the last go-round," Chambers said. "They look like a pretty strong side.
"A lot of the U.S. play is just being scrappy. They have to keep that, stay within their game, tighten up on defense and make those runs at the goal when they can."