England struggle to USA stalemate in underwhelming World Cup showing | Football

Gareth Southgate had a night to largely forget against the States (Picture: Getty Images)

England’s World Cup momentum was halted somewhat after an underwhelming goalless draw with United States of America on Friday night.

Spirits were high after the 6-2 romp against Iran on Monday, but the Three Lions could not hit those heights again, with the Americans the better team for much of the contest.

While Gareth Southgate’s men were a near constant threat at the start of the week, they rarely bothered American goalkeeper Matt Turner in this one, with Jordan Pickford the more concerned of the stoppers over the piece.

Harry Kane probably had England’s best chance of the game, deep into stoppage time, but he sent his header from a Luke Shaw cross high and wide.

It is no great disaster for Southgate and his side, who remain top of Group B going into the last round of fixtures, although they have missed the chance to take their foot off the gas in that clash with Wales.

England are on four points, ahead of Iran on three, with USA on two and Wales one, so there is everything to play for for all four teams going into Tuesday’s games.

England started really brightly and Bukayo Saka was causing trouble on the right flank, trying to set up Harry Kane for an early opener.

After being played in on the right of the penalty box by Jude Bellingham, Saka pulled it back to Kane but Tim Ream made an excellent block just minutes in. Then Kane tried a spectacular flying volley to get to a Saka cross shortly after, but it was also blocked.

The early English momentum petered out a bit and the game became more level before the Americans took over almost entirely, with USA creating the best chance of the game so far for Weston McKennie. Timothy Weah crossed low from the right, with McKennie somehow finding space eight yards out, but blasting his shot over the bar with a first time hit.

The Americans came closer to breaking the deadlock 33 minutes in when Christian Pulisic unleased a snap shot from the edge of the box which crashed onto Jordan Pickford’s crossbar, with the England keeper seemingly getting fingertips to the effort.

Pulisic came close to putting USA ahead just after the half hour mark (Picture: Getty Images)

Things were looking very ropy for England, but they did fashion a good chance just before the break, with impressive work down the left from Luke Shaw, before a pull-back was blazed over by Saka.

Moments later it was another chance for England as Raheem Sterling flicked the ball into Mason Mount’s path 20 yards out, with the Chelsea man hitting a powerful shot that was turned round the post by Matt Turner.

The half-time whistle came and England’s mood was improved by those late chances, but USA had edged the first stanza.

Saka spurned a tricky chance just before half time (Picture: Getty Images)

There were no changes at the break and there was no change in which team was the most impressive, in fact USA only increased their superiority.

There was not a lot in terms of clear chances, but America were having all the ball and territory, with England struggling to get out of their own half with much conviction.

Southgate changed things just before the 70 minute mark, brining on Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish for Jude Bellingham and Raheem Sterling and the substitutions did seem to give England more control of the game.

There was no breakthrough for either side, though, and a pretty forgettable affair finished goalless, despite a decent chance for Kane at the end with a header from a Luke Shaw cross.

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