21 May, 2024
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US hold lethargic England to goalless draw


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England have suffered a sobering reality check as they were outplayed for long periods by a youthful United States side in a tense 0-0 draw in their second World Cup Group B game.

The Three Lions, famously beaten by the US at the 1950 World Cup, could have been the first team through to the Qatar last 16 with a win on Friday but instead will be happy to come away with a draw given the chances.

England were unchanged from the 6-2 thrashing of Iran in their opening game, with Harry Kane fit after a foot problem, but they were strangely ponderous from the start against the Americans.

The US were bolder than in the 1-1 draw with Wales and had much the better chances in the first half.

Haji Wright, the only new name in the starting line-up, headed wide before Weston McKennie fired over and Christian Pulisic struck the bar.

Kane had one early effort blocked and Mason Mount had England’s best first-half chance saved.

The Three Lions had more possession after the break but created very little as Qatar saw its fifth 0-0 draw already, with the entire tournament record not far away at seven.

Iran earlier revived their last 16 hopes with a late 2-0 win over a weary Wales.

Qualification from the group now goes to the last round of matches on Tuesday when England meet Wales in a battle of Britain and the US face Iran in a game with political implications.

Kane admitted England were far from their best.

“We had some good spells with the ball, created some good positions, just didn’t quite have the final product today, but a clean sheet puts us in a great position in the group.

“(It was) the complete contrast to the game against Iran when we took our chances really well. Today we had two or three opportunities and didn’t quite put it away. We played a tough team and we move on.

“We know we can play better than that for sure. No game is easy in a World Cup. After our first performance people thought we were going to landslide every team we play but it’s not the case.”

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