England missed out on qualifying for the round of 16 in the World Cup. The co-favorite weakens against the USA, who deserved a sensation. This leads to a showdown in the battle for the knockout rounds in Group B.
The highly traded co-favorite England has conceded the first World Cup setback and still has to wait for the round of 16. Head coach Gareth Southgate's side were unable to repeat their opening 6-2 goal celebration against Iran in a 0-0 draw against the USA in Al-Khor on Friday night. Harry Kane and Co. failed to qualify as the first team at the World Cup in Qatar for the round of 16 in the performance-based draw in front of 68,463 spectators in the Al-Bait Stadium.
Harry Kane slipped off the pitch with his head hanging: "It wasn't our best performance, we just didn't find the key," said the Three Lions captain. And US coach Gregg Berhalter said: "We made life difficult for each other. We are proud of our achievement, but our work is not done yet."
Before the explosive duel between Britain and Wales in the group final on Tuesday (8:00 p.m.) the starting position of the English, who also failed to win their third World Cup game against the USA, is still excellent. One point is certainly enough to progress, even a narrow defeat would definitely be enough. At the same time, the USA are under more pressure in the politically highly explosive duel with Iran: After two draws so far, only one win will get you a ticket to the knockout rounds. In the event of a third draw or a defeat, the tournament for the US team led by Christian Pulisic would have ended prematurely.
The Three Lions did not give a visible signal against the FIFA ban on the colorful captain's armband, such as the hand-over-mouth gesture by the DFB-Elf - at least not on the pitch. Kane and his teammates knelt as usual as a sign against racism, and the FA illuminated Wembley Stadium in London in rainbow colors in the evening. The associations had been threatened with sporting sanctions by FIFA if they wore the multicolored armband with the words "One Love" on it. As a result, all associations withdrew at short notice.
On the pitch, England initially followed up on Monday's splendid start. On the right side with Kieran Trippier and Bukayo Saka there were always spaces on the offensive. Captain Kane, who is still waiting for his first goal of the tournament, was first blocked on a shot and later interrupted in time when attempting a side kick. As in the first game, Kane's role was striking: the 29-year-old from Tottenham Hotspur, who can replace Wayne Rooney as England's record goalscorer at the World Cup, kept falling back and played like a ten in disguise. Many attacks ran over him.
But the USA put up much more resistance than their opening opponent Iran - and also dared more offensively as the game went on. Head coach Berhalter opted for an offensive 4-3-3, in which Haji Wright replaced ex-Bremer Josh Sargent in the starting XI. But the dangerous scenes were created by the very present US midfield around captain Tyler Adams. Weston McKennie (26th) shot over the goal directly, Pulisic came even closer in a direct duel with his Premier League colleagues: His unimpeded and powerful shot thundered against the crossbar.
The draw at half-time was in keeping with performance after Pulisic's header and England's actual playmaker Mason Mount missed further chances just before half-time. Mount's sharp shot was parried excellently by US keeper Matt Turner. After the change, the USA remained bold and aggressive.
Despite many phases of possession, England struggled to get dangerously in front of the goal. The US fans also made themselves felt in the well-filled stadium and loudly cheered on their team. England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was tested again and again, including after one of the many Pulisic corners he just managed to defuse.