World Cup Recap: USA 0-0 England

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The United States men’s national team put up a valiant fight but could not find the goals as they ended up earning a very respectable draw against England on Friday night at the Al-Bayt Stadium to put them in control of their own destiny in their final game in Group B.

After Monday’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Wales, the Americans knew they would be in for a tough game against the 2018 World Cup semifinalist. It became an even taller task when earlier in the day Iran pulled off a shock 2-0 win over the Welsh.

However, the U.S. held its own against their English opponents and even put them put them on the backfoot with several attacking chances.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter resorted to a 4-4-2 formation in place of the 4-3-3 with Haji Wright being the only change to the starting eleven as he got the nod over Josh Sargent. Meanwhile, England kept the same line-up that played in their 6-2 victory over Iran.

The Three Lions had most of the possession early on in the first half, but tide gradually shift towards the U.S. favor as they strung together passes and tried to find ways to open the scoring. Sergino Dest and Timothy Weah, who have played well on the right side, combined together again in the 26th minute as the latter crossed the ball into the area for Weston McKennie. The midfielder should have put the ball on target, but it ended up going over the bar.

Yunus Musah followed suit a few minutes later with an effort of his own that took a deflection before Jordan Pickford grabbed the ball.

England had an excellent chance to take the lead in the first minute of stoppage time when Luke Shaw played the ball to Mason Mount to send a dangerous shot towards the U.S. goal, but Matt Turner did well to dive to his right and parry the ball away as both sides headed to their respective dressing rooms with the game scoreless.

The confidence from the U.S. side continued to grow as the game reached the half-hour mark and they had their best chance of the game to break the scoreless deadlock. Musah played the ball to Pulisic on the left side and the Chelsea man came close to scoring his first World Cup goal only for the crossbar to deny him in the end.

The second half was more of the same as the Berhalter’s team continued to have the momentum, but could not find the goal to put more pressure of England. Even with the advantage on corner kicks they were not able to test Pickford.

England head coach Gareth Southgate then went to his bench to shake things up as they had no answers for what the Americans were doing. Jack Grealish and Jordan Henderson were brought on for Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham in hopes of opening things up.

The change did help the English side as they were able to slow down the attacks from their opponents. However, they couldn’t get anything going at the other end as the U.S. backline and Turner were ale to quell any threats on their goal.

Berhalter also went to his bench brining on the likes of Brenden Aaronson, Shaq Moore, and finally Gio Reyna in hopes of grabbing a late goal. However, as time started to wind down towards the final whistle the referee called a foul on Musah as he brought down Grealish in a very dangerous area for England to attempt one last chance at a goal.

Shaw looped his freekick in to the area which found Harry Kane, but the England captain’s headed attempt went wide of the U.S. goal.

The Americans had their own chance at glory in the fourth minute of stoppage time when they were awarded a freekick. Pulisic, however, decided to play the ball wide to Reyna as they waited for the final whistle from the referee.

A strong out of the U.S. and a deserved point in the end as they maintained England’s winless record against the country in World Cup play.

There is still a lot of work to do if they want to make it out of Group B and it all comes down to Tuesday when it will be a highly-charged game against second-place Iran at the Al Thumama.


Yanks Abroad

Since 2004, Yanks Abroad has been providing coverage of the U.S. national team program and American players plying their trade around the world. We are committed to bringing you breaking news, interviews, and features that keep you in the loop with what's going with the United States in the soccer world.

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