World Cup 2010: USA Earns 1-1 Tie With England Following Green's Blunder

June 12, 2010

As the teams from England and the United States both stood in the tunnel waiting to be called to the pitch, it soon became apparent which squad was facing the greater pressure.

Having failed to qualify for the European Cup just two years ago, and having reached only the quarterfinals in the last two World Cups, a loss to the Americans simply would not be acceptable for an English team with lofty championship hopes.

Prior to the game, England's Frank Lampard and newly-named captain Steven Gerrard, appeared to be intentionally looking away from the camera in order to avoid making eye contact with U.S. players Tim Howard and Carlos Bocanegra.

If the Americans had been previously unaware, they now knew how serious this game was to England.

In the 4th minute, Gerrard opened the scoring, showing U.S. keeper Howard why he had no interest in exchanging pregame pleasantries.

Gerrard blew by Ricardo Clark and pounced on a nicely weighted pass from Emile Heskey to the open space in front of him. His shot easily beat Howard, giving England a quick 1-0 lead. It was Gerrard's third career World Cup goal.

Unfortunately for England, that advantage would not last long.

In the 39th minute, Clint Dempsey, a midfielder who plays for Fullham in the English Premier League, reflexively fired off a shot first time as the ball came out of a group of players toward him.

The ball slowly made its way to keeper Robert Green who easily should have made the save. Instead, Green completely bobbled the weak shot, allowing the ball to roll into the net and even the score at 1-1.

During the 2009-20010 season, Green made four errors leading to goals, more than any other keeper in the EPL. Fabio Capello’s decision to start the West Ham goalkeeper over Portsmouth’s David James proved costly indeed. Expect James to start in England's next match.

Both teams had their chances to win the game in the second half.

In 54th minute, England's Emile Heskey - who proved to be quite a handful for Oguchi Onyewu and Michael Bradley the entire game - broke free from Onyewu and fired a low, hard shot that Howard trapped into his chest, making a difficult save look easy.

Later, in the 64th minute, Jozy Altidore nearly took the lead for the U.S. when he blew by James Carragher and blasted a low, hard shot that keeper Green barely managed to deflect off the post for a corner kick.

While Altidore displayed his excellent size and top-end pace during that play, Carragher's advanced age and recent re-emergence from a three-year retirement certainly were contributing factors as well.

Meanwhile, English star Wayne Rooney had a relatively quiet game overall. He started slow, did not touch the ball for the first 17 minutes, and gave up possession more than once.

In addition to dealing with first game World Cup jitters, Rooney’s slow start was also hampered by the defensive efforts of American Jay DeMerit, who committed to following Rooney all over the pitch.

As the game went on however, Rooney began to show signs of life and find more space. In typical Rooney fashion, he nearly created something out of nothing in the 74th minute when he turned and quickly let go a surprisingly powerful shot placed low to the right corner, but wide.

In a late attempt to perhaps generate more offense, U.S. Coach Bob Bradley subbed in Edson Buddle for Robbie Findley shortly before the 80th minute. Interestingly, the 20-year old Findley got the start despite having played in none of the qualifying round games.

Bradley acted again in the 86th minute when he subbed the Scottish-born Stuart Holden for Jozy Altidore, who had played quite well.

In fact, Altidore was one of several quality performers, with another standout being England's Aaron Lennon. Lennon had a busy day on the wing, showing his pace and getting numerous crosses into the box.

Landon Donovan played as expected, handling the U.S. playmaking, free kicks, and corners. Throughout the game he created several shots that were off target, but certainly within his ability on a normal day.

In the end, the U.S. gained the most from this game, as they were able to steal a point off of a nervous English side.

For a U.S. team that was significantly outplayed and given virtually no chance of winning, this resurrected colonial battle ironically ended up with the English side looking like amateurs, compliments of Robert Green and his error - one of the bigger blunders in World Cup history.

For England it was a disappointing start. Although they were punished for their mistake on this occasion, they have the talent to overcome such things and still have every reason to remain optimistic.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is certainly hoping that Lady Luck continues to smile on them in their next match.

By Adrian Yeung
Staff Reporter for

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...