England Frustrated By USA In Tedious Draw
England were left waiting for confirmation of their place in the knockout stages of the World Cup after a dire 0 - 0 draw against the USA. Both sides seemed to lack the desire on the night to really take control of the game.
In an encounter with few chances and even less quality, neither side looked like taking the lead at all for the first 15 minutes.
After 25 minutes, the USA had the first chance of the game. A poor cross from the right wasn’t cleared by England and Weston McKennie was free ten yards from goal but skied a glorious chance.
Less than ten minutes later the Americans came close again, Christian Pulisic striking the crossbar from the corner of the penalty area.
England did try to respond at the end of the half as Bellingham tried to find Shaw. The left-back played a lovely one-two with Sterling but put the cross behind Saka who couldn’t dig out a shot.
Mason Mount came closest for England right at the end of the half, driving a good shot towards goal that was well saved by Matt Turner.
The USA started the second-half brightly, with Pulisic’s deflected cross falling to McKennie who shot over from 20 yards.
The Chelsea winger had another run forward unchallenged where he had a shot deflected narrowly wide five minutes later.
England did look a little more lively when Grealish and Henderson were introduced 25 minutes from time. Grealish in particular linked up with Mount and Shaw well to provide a couple of deliveries into the box.
It wasn’t until the 93rd minute that England actually created a decent chance. Luke Shaw whipped in a beautiful free-kick and Harry Kane met the header unmarked. Yet somehow the Tottenham striker headed wide of the target from 12 yards.
The USA did try to make a chance of their own in the last few seconds but couldn’t make a chance of their own. The draw was the fair result in a truly dire game. Both sides lacked ideas and any real creativity.
Whilst both sides were terrible, the draw is a much better result for England than it is for the USA. After Iran’s 0 - 2 win over Wales earlier, England are still top of the group, one point ahead of the Asian side.
That means that only a four goal defeat to Wales would send England packing in the World Cup. To win the group however the Three Lions would have to match Iran’s result on Matchday 3.
Harry Maguire also deserves a mention for his best performance in a long time. The Manchester United defender was solid at the back and got England out of trouble on a number of occasions.
For the USA, it’s just as simple as it was for England tonight; win and they’ll be through. Any other result will see Iran go through instead. This was a poor performance from England without a doubt, but the point should see them safely through.
It’s also worth remembering that the 0 - 0 draw with Scotland in Euro 2020 was what got England fired up to go all the way to the final. A disappointing night, but not one to be too concerned over. England are still firmly in control of their own destiny when it comes to their World Cup hopes in Qatar.