World Cup: U.S. gains confidence but not win in scoreless tie against England
AL KHOR, Qatar — Soccer isn’t always about winning and losing. Sometimes it’s about how you play the game.
Take Friday’s World Cup match between the United States and England, the No. 5 team in the world. Not so long ago, that would have been one the U.S. had all but conceded before kickoff.
Not anymore. On this night, in a game that ended in a scoreless tie, it was the Americans who were in control. They outfought the English and outshot them, outhustled and outmuscled them.
That used to happen the other way around.
And though the U.S. lacked the exclamation point of a goal, the draw earned it something just as important as a win. It earned the Americans the confidence to know they have a place in the conversation when the best teams in the game are being discussed.
U.S. and England play to a scoreless draw — why have there been so many in Qatar?
AL KHOR, Qatar — Through the first 20 games in this World Cup there have already been five times as many scoreless draws as there was in the entire tournament four years ago in Russia.
Friday’s goalless game between the U.S. and England was the fifth of the tournament, just two shy of the World Cup record of seven. That happened four times, most recently in 2014.
U.S. plays to a scoreless draw against heavily favored England
On England’s second free kick of stoppage time, Harry Kane’s header looked good before going wide left. U.S. got a free kick — nothing came of it, but it was the last action of a surprise 0-0 tie for the U.S. against heavily favored England. It is the first time the U.S. has played to a scoreless draw at the World Cup. The U.S. is third in Group B and needs a win over Iran on Tuesday to advance.
Are we headed to yet another scoreless draw?
Two minutes (and stoppage time) away from a fifth scoreless draw in Qatar.
Fresh legs coming in for U.S. and England late in scoreless match
With some fresh legs in after substitutions, England was able to increase the intensity midway through the second half. The U.S. made its first substitutions in the 77th minute, with Brenden Aaronson in for Weston McKennie and Shaq Moore in for Sergiño Dest.
More U.S. substitutions in the 83rd minute.
England survives onslaught of U.S. corner kicks to keep scoreless tie
England survived a frantic two minutes that included three U.S. corner kicks. Christian Pulisic, still looking for his first World Cup goal, placed the kicks well but all three were fended off by Harry Magwire.
Three minutes later, on another U.S. corner in the 64th minute, keeper Jordan Pickford got a finger on it to set up yet another corner by Pulisic. It was successfully defended by England. That’s seven corner kicks today by the U.S.; England didn’t face any Monday against Iran.
U.S. keeps the pressure on early in the second half
The U.S. is keeping the pressure on at the beginning of the second half. A shot by Weston McKennie was high in the 49th minute. Still scoreless.
U.S. hanging tough against England, still no score at halftime
The U.S. had the momentum for much of the first half against England, with the Americans’ fans helping to feed their team’s energy with an “It’s called soccer!” chant. The score remained 0-0 at the half after several near-misses for the U.S., including a Christian Pulisic header off a Sergiño Dest header in the 43rd minute.
U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner made his first save just before the end of the half, diving right and getting both hands on a hard shot by Mason Mount to preserve the scoreless tie.
After four U.S. players received yellow cards in the opener against Wales, none have been issued to either side so far today.
Christian Pulisic nails the crossbar as U.S. increases pressure on England
Christian Pulisic sent a hard shot off the crossbar as the U.S. got another great look in the 33rd minute. It doesn’t get any closer than that, but the game remains scoreless.
U.S. gets some chances but still no score vs. England
No score midway through the first half. The U.S. survived immense pressure in the first 15 minutes and created some opportunities of their own. Haji Wright was off target with a header in the 11th minute. He had another great look moments later, but Christian Pulisic’s pass from the right went straight into the arms of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. The U.S. got its best chance in the 26th minute when Tim Weah sent a cross into the box to a wide open Weston McKennie but his shot went high.
U.S. survives first threat by England
Walker Zimmerman of the U.S. got a foot on a shot by Harry Kane to deflect the first major threat by England in the 10th minute.
World Cup: Starting lineups for U.S. vs. England
Sergiño Dest, Weston McKennie and Tim Ream all get the start while sitting on yellow cards.
Only one change for the U.S. with Haji Wright replacing Josh Sargent. Five starters ply their trade in England: Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson (Fulham) and Matt Turner (Arsenal).
What’s up with all the scoreless draws at the World Cup this year?
AL KHOR, Qatar — Through the first round of group play in this World Cup, there have already been four times as many scoreless draws as there were in the entire tournament four years ago in Russia.
Thursday’s goalless game between Uruguay and South Korea was the fourth of the tournament, more than halfway to the World Cup record of seven. That’s happened four times, most recently in 2014.
“I certainly think the gap in talent and competitive balance between international teams has certainly closed with the globalization of the game,” Fox Sports commentator Alexi Lalas, a two-time World Cup player, said when asked to explain the lack of scoring. “But so often we desperately try to ascribe meaning and reason to this game, and sometimes it’s really just simply the result of some random and unpredictable things happening. Kind of like life.”
Chef Giulio Caccamo helps make the U.S. men’s soccer team feel at home in Qatar
DOHA, Qatar — Thursday was Thanksgiving and even in Qatar that means turkey. The problem for Giulio Caccamo, the newly minted chef for the U.S. World Cup team, was where to find it.
Turns out you can’t, at least not in the quantity or quality Caccamo wanted. So he had to have the birds brought in by plane from the U.S. (You know turkeys can’t fly, right?)
“Tonight we’re going to have some turkey, some sweet mashed potatoes with marshmallow. So we kept it traditional,” Caccamo said on the eve of the Americans’ crucial group-stage showdown with England on Friday.
That meal was one of dozens Caccamo will prepare for the national team and its staff during their stay in Qatar. Yet the cooking is the least of his challenges since it doesn’t matter how good the food is if nobody eats it. When you’re dealing with 26 young men, including two teenagers, getting them to eat their vegetables isn’t easy.
That’s where the artist in Caccamo comes in.
Analysis: U.S. can learn a lot from World Cup tie with Wales
DOHA, Qatar — For 45 minutes the Americans dominated, pressing the disorganized Welsh, putting them under pressure and basically taking them out of their game. Through 60 minutes, the U.S. was comfortably in control. But then Wales got desperate and everything changed.
“We knew there was going to be a moment where Wales was going to change their tactics and throw caution to the wind,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said. “We knew that was going to be part of it.”
Christian Pulisic’s heroics can’t save U.S. from disappointing World Cup start
AL RAYYAN, Qatar — The enduring image of the national team’s failure to qualify for the last World Cup was of Christian Pulisic, his uniform stained with grass and dirt, squatting in the middle of the field with his head in his hand in frustration. As a result, getting the U.S. to Qatar this fall probably meant more to Pulisic than any other player.
“He’s one of the people that really felt the heartbreak back in 2017,” goalkeeper Matt Turner said.
In a World Cup debut Monday that was delayed four years, Pulisic put in a heroic effort only to be frustrated yet again when a late penalty-kick goal allowed Wales to steal two points with a 1-1 draw.
World Cup: U.S. looks to gain respect in game against England
DOHA, Qatar — No one expects the U.S. to beat England.
The oddsmakers say the World Cup matchup Friday in Al Khor on the edge of the Qatari desert is a huge mismatch, like leading lambs to slaughter. England is ranked fifth in the world. It made the semifinals of the last World Cup and the final of the last European Championship.
And the U.S.? Well, it has done nothing comparable.
“We haven’t achieved anything as a group on the world stage,” coach Gregg Berhalter conceded.
Before you go out and bet the farm on the Three Lions, though, here’s a fact to consider: The Americans have never lost to England in a World Cup, winning in 1950 and playing to a draw 12 years ago in South Africa. And they’re not conceding anything going into this game.