USA midfielder Maurice Edu hailed his side's heart, unity and character following their thrilling late win over Algeria.
The US looked set to tumble out of the FIFA World Cup™ at the group stages for the second successive tournament as their clash with Algeria entered stoppage time still locked at 0-0. If the scoreline had remained unchanged then, with England beating Slovenia in the other Group C game, then both the Americans and Algerians would be the teams knocked out.
However, with just a couple of minutes left on the clock, Landon Donovan popped up to slot home the only goal of the game and seal a remarkable last-gasp victory for his side. The victory was no more than the Americans deserved, although it was beginning to look as though they would pay for all the chances they missed during the game.
Bob Bradley's side, who had fought back from deficits to draw their previous two matches, again kept going until the end though, and Edu believes that shows a great deal about what the team is made of. He told Press Association Sport: "It was a great way to win the game and I thought it was a fair result and we deserved to win.
We have the chance to do something special in this tournament, and that's what we're looking to do.
"The guys stuck together and really dug deep in the last part of the game in order to get that final boost and get that final goal. That's the game sometimes, you've got to stick together as a team. You think it might be one of those days when it's not going to go in for you but the guys showed a lot of heart and a lot of character. We didn't want to go home after this game."
The victory not only earned the US a spot in the knockout stages but it also earned them first place in the group above England. That means they will now face Ghana in their last 16 game, with the Black Stars runners-up to Germany in Group D.
Edu admits confidence is soaring in the camp following their display against Algeria, which he believes was their best of the tournament so far. "You have to go into games confident and we'll definitely be feeding off of this (the Algeria win)," he said. "This experience that we have right now and the excitement that we're feeling, we want to have that same feeling at the end of the game on Saturday. There's a lot of work to be done now and we have to get focused, mentally and physically for the next opponent."
He added: "I think this was a better performance overall than the other two games. The other games we started off a bit slow and this one we started on the front foot, put pressure on them and created chances, and I think we created more chances in this game than we did in the other two. It was just a better group effort and performance."
The Rangers midfielder also praised the public backing his side have got from both at home in America and also in South Africa. "We've been hearing how the fans have been supporting us back home, and even the support we've had here watching the games has been tremendous," he said "We're glad we can give them something to be proud of. We have the chance to do something special in this tournament, and that's what we're looking to do."