World Cup 2022: England look ahead to Wales clash following goalless draw against US

In an untidy match against the USA, England only managed a goalless draw - Steve Scott reports

England were lucky to end the game goalless with the US coming closest to breaking the deadlock despite the Three Lions dominating possession.

Boos greeted the final whistle as the side blew their chance to qualify for the World Cup knockout phase with a match to spare in a turgid draw with the US.

Monday’s 6-2 thumping of Iran represented their best start to a major tournament, but Friday’s loose and lacklustre performance brought Gareth Southgate’s side back down to earth.

A win for the Three Lions would have secured their place in the final 16 of the tournament following tonight's clash at Qatar's Al Bayt Stadium.

And, provided England can avoid a big defeat against Wales, who suffered an upsetting defeat against Iran on Friday, they will still progress to the knockout stages.

England dominated possession early on in the match, but the US still held their own against attacks and had their share of chances and were keen to show they would be no pushover.

A near miss by Weston Mckennie at the 25th minute, unmarked in the box, flew just over the crossbar, shortly followed with a powerful shot by Christian Pulisic which ricochet off it.

"We understand the frustration" - Trippier

Speaking on Saturday, Kieran Trippier understands why England fans jeered the team following the match - but insisted they would be ready for a “battle” against Wales.

“Of course the fans want to see goals and to win matches,” said Trippier.

“But all I can say is that the commitment from the boys is there, we give 100 percent in every single game.

“Of course we understand the frustration because we didn’t win the game but we gave everything, a point is a good result.

“The one thing about my team-mates and myself is we give everything, as soon as we cross that white line, we give everything to win.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t win but it’s a good point – we kept a clean sheet, it is a good point for us in the group and we just move on now, focus on the next game.”

On Saturday England's manager Gareth Southgate said he was confident about England's chances of progressing to the round of 16, as Wales's manager Robert Page appeared to write off Welsh hopes after their draw with the US was compounded by a Friday’s late 2-0 heartbreak against Iran.

“Our first objective is to qualify from the group,” Southgate said.

“We’ve still a little bit to do in terms of doing that.

“But we’re also still in pole position to win the group if we can win the game next week, and that’s got to be our aim.

“That’s of course going to be a very, very tough game again. You know, Wales are going to be hurt by what’s happened today and we’re going to have to be at our very best."

USA's Christian Pulisic hits the crossbar in early challenge against England

Towards the end of the first half, the USA gained more and more control of the ball, putting more pressure on England to break the deadlock.

England's Bukayo Saka had a chance just in front of the six yard line but his shot flew right over the goalpost.

The biggest opportunity for England was Mason Mount's shot from just outside the box at the 45th minute, which was deflected by USA goalkeeper Matt Turner.

England's Mason Mount has a near miss at the 45th minute against USA

Gareth Southgate made the first move to switch things up in an attempt to break the deadlock, bringing on Jack Grealish and Jordan Henderson in place of Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham.

With a quarter of the game remaining – England had just a single shot on target.

Grealish's impact was felt early as he made a driving run down the left before being crowded out in the box.

Marcus Rashford got a run out and his tame 86th-minute strike was just a second shot on target for an out-of-sorts England.

Kane’s first sniff of goal came deep into stoppage time as he headed a Luke Shaw free-kick wide of the post, England left frustrated but also lucky to draw the game 0-0.

'Not many get nine points'

Southgate remained upbeat despite the boos, adding he knows will only add to this “tournament of external noise”.

“Were we booed off, though? I’m not sure if that was aimed at us or… I don’t know,” the England manager said.

“Look, I’m really pleased with the application of the players. It was a really tough opponent, they defended incredibly well."

He added: “I’m sure there’ll be a lot of noise about the performance, but not many teams go through World Cups and get nine points in the group.

Harry Kane rues a missed chance. Credit: PA

Kane admitted England were far from their best, but told ITV: “We had some good spells with the ball, created some good positions, just didn’t quite have the final product today, but a clean sheet puts us in a great position in the group.

“(It was) the complete contrast to the game against Iran when we took our chances really well. Today we had two or three opportunities and didn’t quite put it away. We played a tough team and we move on.

“We know we can play better than that for sure. No game is easy in a World Cup. After our first performance people thought we were going to landslide every team we play but it’s not the case.”

Former Manchester United captain and ITV Sport pundit Roy Keane wanted to see Phil Foden brought on, adding: “The subs that did come on didn’t really have an impact.

“England looked leggy, one-paced, short of ideas, even set-pieces you never felt they had a goal in their locker from that – actually a terrible performance."

Wembley Stadium's arch is lit up in rainbow colours, in London. Credit: PA

Back at home, the Wembley arch was lit up in rainbow colours in support of the LGBT+ community, following a week at the World Cup dominated by a row over the OneLove armband.

The Three Lions’ players did not follow Germany’s lead by making an on-pitch protest against Fifa before their World Cup clash with the United States at the Al Bayt Stadium, north of Doha.

Instead, the Football Association instead sent an off-pitch message of support via the national stadium in north London.

Welsh heartbreak after 2-0 Iran defeat

Welsh fans were left heartbroken yesterday after their side was beaten in the final minutes by Iran.

The defeat, which also saw goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey sent off for a rash challenge, leaves Wales needing to beat England in the Group B decider.

Captain Gareth Bale, who became Wales' most capped men's player with his 110th appearance for his country, said, "Every Welsh fan will be proud of us for giving 100% on the pitch."

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