England - USA
|Steven Gerrard celebrating the opening goal|
Both teams went into this match with a straight 4-4-2, Capello decides to put Robert Green in net while Bob Bradley puts Clark in midfield next to Michael Bradley. The match started off with lots of energy, Gerrard gets behind Clark and Heskey plays Gerrard a pass which gives the England skipper the chance to score and put England in front. The USA didn't drop their heads after conceding though, they remained determined and resolute in their mission as they tried to work the ball up the field and earn corners and free-kicks where they were dangerous. Onyewu was a constant threat from set-pieces, and thanks to Donovan's good deliveries, England were often shaking as the big USA defender rose up to strike towards goal.
Aaron Lennon's pace was frustrating for Bocanegra, often getting the space for dangerous crosses and balls across the 18, and while Heskey was [only] good at holding the ball up for England, Rooney was invisible for the first half. The USA players were taking plenty of shots from long range, and eventually after losing his marker, Gerrard, with a clever trick of dribbling, Clint Dempsey's left foot shot went in the back of the net. But the shot was weak and right at Green, unfortunately for the West Ham keeper, he was unable to hold the ball as it slipped out of his hands and trickled into the goal. Green curled up in embarrassment with his head on the ground and eventually got up saying sorry to his teammates for the irreparable mistake. This error probably made the half-time team-talks much different as the players entered their changing rooms.
After the half we saw both teams coming out, one thinking about how to win it, and the other thinking about how not to lose it. Capello left Green in goal for the second half, and as the game went on we saw more and more chances for both teams go to waste. Heskey probably had the best chance when he was released 1 on 1 against Tim Howard, but the big striker could only pound it right at the USA goalkeeper. Jozy Altidore's pace troubled substitute Carragher as he was eventually able to get behind him and lash a shot from close range, luckily for Green, the keeper got a hand to it which caused it to skid off of his post and back into play. The match eventually ended 1-1, while the USA seemed happy with the result, England were thinking of what could've been if their keeper hadn't let the ball slip from his hands.
|The ball slipping from Green's hands...|
A great match, and tommorrow we'll see Algeria - Slovenia along with Germany - Australia, and Serbia - Ghana. Be sure to share your thoughts below by commenting!