They were not intimidated by the brilliant opposition and created two fantastic chances before half-time. They were disciplined and mature, never deviating from the plan laid out by coach Greg Berhalter. They silenced the team that scored six goals in the opening game.
Although the match ended in a 0-0 draw, the United States relished their performance and impressed with their chances of getting knocked out. Group B severely disturbed. Going into the final group of matches on Tuesday, the Americans (0-0-2, two points) must defeat Iran (1-1-0, three points) to secure one of the two places in the round of 16. England (1-0). -1, four points) will face Wales (0-1-1, one point) in the other match.
“I’m pleased with the group’s performance and, more importantly, the group’s faith because that has not been wavered,” Berhalter said. “And what I saw in the pre-match was a team that was very focused on getting a result. In the end, our first World Cup knockout match was set up. Win or be out of the World Cup.”
“The most important thing is that we control the outcome of our journey in this tournament,” said midfielder Weston McKinney.
The Americans took the lead and made things difficult for the Three Lions, who hold high hopes of winning their first World Cup title since 1966. “We went toe-to-toe with them,” said forward Christian Pulisic.
The US created better scoring opportunities and, dare anyone say, outperformed the team that finished fourth at the 2018 World Cup and second at Euro 2020 (played in 2021).
“There are a lot of people who clearly thought we were going to explode,” McKinney said. “There are a lot of people in the outside world who thought we were clearly underdogs, but to us, we didn’t feel like an underdog at all.”
The USA are 2-8-2 all-time against England, with the previous win coming 29 years ago, but in three World Cup meetings, they’ve been undefeated (1-0-2). In this encounter, there was no telling the blue blood of the rookies, the team is stacked with high-priced international rookie stars.
“This team has come a very long way, and we should be proud of the performance,” said Pulisic. “Most of all, you have to inspire confidence and you have to give us a great feeling going into this last match and that’s a must for us.”
England set the tone, but it wasn’t long before American bouts of optimism gave way to continued possession and two fantastic chances.
Not noticed nine yards from the goal, McKinney missed badly. He grabbed his wedge of hair dyed red, white, and blue in frustration, knowing that such opportunities would likely be rare.
Seven minutes later, Pulisic worked himself into a pocket of space just inside the penalty area and aimed at the top near the corner. His 16-yard kick beat goalkeeper Jordan Pickford but hit the crossbar.
The English fans became anxious. “It’s called football!” jeered American fans chanted.
While they dominated large swathes of the match, the Americans still had a hard time scoring. They did not score in either of the last two squads in September and only scored one goal in the first half of Monday’s 1-1 draw against Wales.
“We were happy with the positions we held, and we had some close opportunities,” Berhalter said.
The defense made up for it, however, with an excellent performance against world class striker Harry Kane and his solid supporting staff. England never looked comfortable in possession and worked out solutions for a well-organised American defence.
The only goal the USA lost in their first two matches came on a late penalty kick taken by Gareth Bale for Wales. Friday marked the first time the United States had beaten an opponent in the World Cup finals in Europe since their historic victory over England in 1950.
England managed quality chances late in each half. Matt Turner made a diving save to sideline Mason Mount’s cross just before the break and Kane won an aerial duel on Luke Shaw’s free kick but drove his header from eight yards away.
For the most part, the Three Lions struggled to open up an American resistance that offered an unexpected look: while the team held three forwards when they had possession, Pulisic fell into midfield from the front line when England had the ball.
Defense quarterbacks Walker Zimmerman and Tim Ream did not crack. Inspiration has been provided by Captain Tyler Adams, who, from his place in defensive midfield, snatched loose ball after loose ball and made a brilliant tackle into the penalty area to prevent trouble.
The Three Lions tried to pick up the pace late in the game, but the Americans were unfazed.
Impressed with the way things were going, Berhalter didn’t take his first step until about 15 minutes later. After carrying yellow cards from the Wales game, McKinney and Serginho Dest walked off, avoiding an extra warning that would have resulted in a ban for the Iran match.
Gio Reina, the 20-year-old, made his World Cup debut in the 83rd minute, but the Americans were far from chances. Although they neither scored nor won, they have continued to gain respect from the soccer world after they missed out on the 2018 World Cup. Gains have been made with their large army of fans here and the general public back home.
“I spoke before the World Cup about how serious the team is about taking this responsibility to gain momentum in the sport in America, and doing well will do that,” Berhalter said. We want to grab the audience’s attention. We want to perform at a high level. We want to give them something to be proud of. And the nights are like helping tonight, but there has to be more to come.”
World Cup in Qatar
Last: The United States tied England, 0-0, in their second World Cup match on Friday to set up a must-see group final against Iran. Read the Highlights of the second group match.
Political protest: The looming backdrop for Iran’s World Cup campaign is a A national protest movement Back home his religious leadership is targeted, and persistent and unavoidable tensions seep into the field.
Highlights: Where Saudi Arabia was against Argentina on Tuesday, the match now came at the 73rd minute in Brazil over Serbia. Richarlison’s wonder of goal Bolstered Brazil’s opening 2-0 victory.
impression: Nice game is good. Bags full of cash are even better. Read Sally Jenkins on The legal controversy in Qatar.