WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama told America`s World Cup heroes Thursday that the West Wing of the White House erupted in cheers when Landon Donovan scored the dramatic winning goal against Algeria.
Obama called the jubilant United States team as they prepared in South Africa for their round-of-16 knockout clash with Ghana on Saturday.
The president told the team that he was in a high-stakes meeting with new Afghan war commander General David Petraeus in the Oval Office when the injury time winner went in, and could "hear the rest of the West Wing erupt."
"The President then congratulated Donovan on the game-winning goal, asked Tim Howard how his ribs were feeling and asked Clint Dempsey how his lip was doing," Obama`s spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
"The President wished the team good luck on Saturday and made sure they knew that the entire country was cheering them on."
The Americans beat Algeria 1-0 on Wednesday, and will face Ghana in the round-of-16 match in Rustenburg on Saturday and are now eyeing a deep run in the tournament.
Some members of the US team stopped at the White House before traveling to South Africa and are not lacking for presidential support in a campaign that has attracted rare public fervor back home.
Former president Bill Clinton watched their triumph over Algeria, and Vice President Joe Biden also traveled to South Africa, to watch them play England, a match that ended in a 1-1 draw.
BDST: 1206hrs, June 25, 2010