The US men's team outdid the heavily favored English team in every way but scoring during their World Cup match Friday, battling to a 0-0 draw. As far as the tournament goes, the match didn't settle much: The US will have to beat Iran on Tuesday to reach the round of 16, while England's team will advance as long it doesn't lose by three goals to Wales, ESPN reports. But for the young, rebuilding Americans, confidently holding their own at a minimum against the vaunted England was a triumph, per Yahoo Sports. The US is now 2-8-2 all-time against England, and an unbeaten 1-0-2 in World Cup play.
England's fans seemed to see it that way, jeering their team at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, per the AP. Coach Gareth Southgate had reminded his players of the Americans' famous 1-0 victory in 1950 and the 1-1 draw in 2010 before Friday's match, though it was the US team that displayed more energy. But the US couldn't translate its dominance into a score. The frustration included Christian Pulisic hitting the crossbar and Weston McKinnie missing from eight yards out. "I'd like to see goals," said US coach Gregg Berhalter. "We're proud, but our work is not done."
Before the match, Southgate had suggested England has been overrated historically, per the Washington Post. "We're good at talking highly of ourselves as a nation and on the basis of very little evidence," Southgate said. The methodical play of his team created no real scoring chances Friday. Midway through the first half, the US took charge, with the unheralded Americans outrunning and outthinking a team of Premier League stars whose salaries add up to a half-billion dollars, per Yahoo. Berhalter had predicted as much. "We know we have to be cautious about their threats," he said Thursday. "But we want to play our game." (Read more 2022 World Cup stories.)