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England 1-1 USA

Gerrard celebrates

By Jemma Tappenden
June 12 2010

It all started so well, as a 4th minute goal from England Captain Steven Gerrard got Fabio Capello's side off to a World Cup start they could only have dreamed of. But English hearts sank in the 40th minute as a crucial error from West Ham goal keeper Robert Green gifted the USA an equaliser.

It was a perfect start to a World Cup campaign which comes with high expectation from the England fans.  Emile Heskey - long debated by England fans far and wide provided the perfect assist to team captain Steven Gerrard, who fired home a low hard shot into the bottom corner on four minutes.

Despite possession of 59% at times during the first half, the USA had produced little of significance, and England seemed to be well and truly on top as a Frank Lampard free kick needed just the smallest of touches for England to double their lead.

The USA looked dangerous from set pieces, and the combination of Oguchi Onyewu and Landon Donovan threatened the England goal on more than one occassion.  Hull City and USA striker Jozy Altidore will have wished he'd done better after glancing his header wide of the mark when he was unchallenged in the box.

England were presented with a glorious chance to double their lead after Aaron Lennon broke free down the right.  But finding himself in space he decided to square the ball across the box when he might have done better going for goal himself.

On the half hour mark Fabio Capello made an early substitution, replacing yellow carded James Milner with Shaun Wright-Phillips.  The substitution, whilst early, probably came at the right time for a notably off colour Milner, who missed three days training this week with a stomach bug.

As half time approached the Americans appeared to find a new lease of life after a few ambitious efforts from Donovan and Altidore lifted their optimism.  But despite their new found vigour the USA never looked to have England rattled, until a vital error in the 40th minute provided them with a shock equaliser.

A shot from Dempsey which lacked both power and pace should have caused England keeper Robert Green no problems.  But in a terrible error Green fumbled the ball and could only look on in horror as it scrambled over the line to provide the American's with an unexpected equaliser.

England heads dropped, but Johnson still came close with a shot from no-where.  It was not enough to restore England's lead however, and it was all square as the teams headed to the tunnel for half time.

Half Time: England 1-1 USA

There was a second change for England at the interval.  The injured King was replaced in defence by Carragher.

England strived to find a second goal throughout the second half, and Wayne Rooney struggled to hide his frustration after ghosting in on goal, only to be brought to a hault as the flag went up for a Heskey offside.

Moments later Emile Heskey himself was presented with a glorious chance to give England a 2-1 advantage, but he could only fire directly at USA keeper Howard.  England continued to press as the USA offered little in terms of attack, but as time ticked on it seemed inevitable that Capello's men would have to accept a point from their opening fixture.

Robert Green was finally able to redeem his first half error midway through the second half as Altidore broke loose and looked odds on to put the American's ahead.  But Green produced a fantastic fingertip save to push the ball onto the woodwork, with the eventual rebound clearing the danger.

In the 70th minute Rooney finally got the kind of chance the Manchester United striker craves, but Gerrard's swinging cross was just too much for him to make the perfect connection.  Moments later England fans held their breath as Carragher appeared to impead Findley by cutting in across.  But the referee gave nothing, and England continued to press for a winner in the last 15 minutes.

Rooney tried his luck with a 25 yard shot in the 75th minute, and USA keeper Howard looked relieved to see the ball fly past his left hand post.  Wright-Phillips was next to try his luck, but once again England failed to score as he fired his shot straight at the keeper.

With 12 minutes left to go Capello made his final change as he replaced Emile Heskey with Peter Crouch in a final throw of the dice.  Within minutes Crouch made his first touch of the ball, a header in the box which was well high of the target.

Despite a final flurry of activity in the USA box there was no way through for Capello's men, who had to settle for a point in their first Group C fixture.  The target now says captain Gerrard, is 7 points.

Full Time: England 1-1 USA

Gerrard (4), Dempsey (40)

Attendance: 44,026

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England 1-1 USA
Discussion started by Lions of England (IP Logged), 12/06/2010 23:18
Lions of England
Lions of England
12/06/2010 23:18
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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World Cup Willie
12/06/2010 23:24
I wish i had Stevie G's confidence tellin yers.

St George
12/06/2010 23:27
Hmmmm me too.

England - FIFA Ranking 7th, Slovenia - FIFA Ranking 25th, Algeria - FIFA Ranking 30th. Just for the record USA are ranked 14th.

It has disaster written all over it!

imp for life
imp for life
12/06/2010 23:29
Keep the Faith !!!!

St George
12/06/2010 23:30
I'm sure we shall!

St George
12/06/2010 23:31
We will have all forgotten about today come next Friday, and it will all be back to mega excitement and expectation lol.

St George
13/06/2010 01:41
So what changes does Capello need to make for next weeks fixture against Algeria?

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