FIFA World Cup: England stunted by wasteful United States

England were stunted to a 0-0 draw against a dominant but wasteful United States in the FIFA World Cup on Friday. Gareth Southgate’s England were blunt in attack and left the pitch to jeers from fans, while Gregg Berhalter’s United States failed to capitalise on their persistent threat on goal.

England failed to dominate the game in the same way they had against Iran and were lucky to end the game unscathed. England captain Harry Kane said to ITV that it was not his side’s best performance but that they had “good spells with the ball, but [England] didn’t quite have the final product. The clean sheet puts us in a great position in the group.”

The Three Lions began the match on the front foot with Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka providing threat down on the right wing feeding passes into Kane, but the USA edged their way back into the match with a glancing in-the-box shot from Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie in the 26th minute.

The USA’s threat following early England dominance continued throughout the match. Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic thrashed the crossbar after McKennie and Yunus Musah’s neat interplay in the box.

Southgate’s side strung together two good chances in the closing moments of the first half through Saka’s close-range strike and Mason Mount’s long-range effort, but the States proved to be the dominant side in the first half.

The Americans began the second half as they ended the first and forced England into their own half, with a procession of Pulisic corners that continually threatened Jordan Pickford’s goal from the 59th minute and continued their dominance throughout the match, but were ultimately wasteful with their wealth of chances.

England’s defence was their only highlight with an excellent performance from Harry Maguire whose aerial presence kept the USA at bay.

Kane nearly had the chance to steal all three points from the USA, but his powerful headed effort glanced just wide in the 93rd minute.

Following the match, Kane complimented his opponents when he said to ITV: “They pressed well, they made it difficult. At times we dealt with it well, we respect them. A draw isn’t bad for us. We look forward to the next one.”

Kane admitted that his side could have played better, but “a draw in a World Cup isn’t bad, no game is easy.”

“After our first performance people think we’ll landslide everything but it’s not the case. We played a good side but it’s not what we came here for.”

Southgate remained calm after the the disappointing result. He said to The Guardian: “The objective is to qualify. We have three games to do it. I would imagine most of the teams in the competition will take three games to do it.”

“I’m sure there will be a lot of noise. This is the tournament of external noise. But we’re on track. We have a bit to do. We can still improve. That’s going to be our target.”

The optimism following England’s thrashing of Iran has turned to realism following their poor performance, but they need only to avoid a heavy defeat against Wales on Tuesday to avoid qualification into the knock-out stages. The United States will be disappointed not to pick up all three points following their strong attacking display and will need at least a point against Iran to progress.

+ posts

Leave a Reply

Verified by ExactMetrics