It’s time to put the “special relationship” aside as England and the United States meet in the World Cup at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar.
They last met in the World Cup in 2010.
The United States opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Wales, while England had a resounding 6-2 victory over Iran on Monday.
The opening draw significantly hurts the Americans’ chances of reaching the knockout round. According to FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index, the USMNT have only a 45% chance of advancing after the draw.
“It’s a punch in the face and that’s what it is,” said American midfielder Brenden Aaronson. “But we got to move on and look at the positives and look at film, what we can do even better.”
England, meanwhile, go into the match having gotten contributions from their biggest stars. Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish each notched goals in the opener. Since 1998, teams that win their opener have an 84% chance to reach the next round.
Here are the biggest plays and top moments from Friday’s action:
Pregame: First, let’s look on the bright side for the USMNT. They can’t be eliminated today! A win for England — which seems the smart pick today considering that Harry Kane & Co. romped 6-2 over Iran in their first game — just puts the US in a “win or go home” scenario against Iran on Tuesday. Funnily enough, the last time England met the US at a World Cup, in 2010, they drew with England in that tournament, faced a “win or go home” scenario in their final game of the group … and they got the result they needed against Algeria with Landon Donovan’s injury-time goal.
And so for Friday night, in what looks to be a frenetic, electric atmosphere at Al Bayt Stadium, England manager Gareth Southgate named an unchanged side to face the US, sticking with the XI that caught fire against Iran in their opener. Look for the combo of Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka on England’s right to cause mischief, and while Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire are largely punch lines this season at their club (Manchester United), they’ve been rock-solid when representing the Three Lions.
As for the US, they couldn’t convert chances against Wales in their opener, which has forced coach Gregg Berhalter’s hand into one change from that team. Out goes Josh Sargent, the flame-haired striker in England’s second tier; in comes Haji Wright, arguably the most surprising name to make it in the World Cup squad, but a striker who has actually scored a bunch of goals at the club level in the lead-up to Qatar.
The starting XIs
Recruiting famous fans
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