World Cup Group B: USMNT push, ultimately settle for 0-0 draw vs. high-powered England

Dest Sterling USMNT England World Cup
Sergino Dest darts away from Raheem Sterling. (Photo: FIFA World Cup)

A 0-0 draw won’t do much to wow on the scoreline, but the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) hung with one of the best teams on the planet in England to gain a point in their second match at the 2022 World Cup on Friday afternoon. 

“There were a lot of positives,” Christian Pulisic said. “There were stretches in the first half where we were dominant. We managed the game quite well. To come away with a draw against them is a pretty good result but we felt like we could win the game.”

With two points in Group B, the US is in third place entering the final matchday. However, they still very much hold their own fate, and a victory over Iran next week will get them into the Round of 16. For England, the point keeps them top of the group with four points. 

It was the first time in 35 World Cup matches that the Americans participated in a scoreless draw and the first time since 1950 (1-0 win over England) that they shut out a European opponent. 

England provided the quicker start, keeping the Americans on their back heels throughout the first 20 minutes.

Harry Kane — the 2018 Golden Boot winner in Russia — found an opportunity fall to him roughly 10 yards from goal, but defender Walker Zimmerman provided a vital block to send it away from harm or else it would have seriously troubled goalkeeper Matt Turner. 

The US found its footing midway through the half as it began asking serious questions of England’s defense — which is the one aspect of the Three Lions that’s considered questionable in Qatar. 

Wing-back Antonee Robinson found himself in the box for a low cross that fell directly to his right foot, but he skied the chance over the bar. 

In the 32nd minute, Pulisic took a pass within the left corner of the box, took a touch, and cannoned a shot that beat England keeper Jordan Pickford, but rang off the crossbar. 

Ten minutes later, he got on the end of a cross in the England box, but it glanced off his shoulder rather than his head and rolled wide.

Turner was called back into option during the first and only minute of first-half stoppage time when he had to spring down low to his right to push away a menacing Mason Mount shot aside. 

While the United States grew timid in the second half against Wales, they stayed with it against England — often going at the favorites rather than dropping back and inviting premier talent to descend upon Turner. 

Despite being out-possessed, the US attempted 10 shots compared to England’s eight. Even more impressive was their ability to dictate play against a side that blew out Iran 6-2 on Monday.

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