After two rounds, the four teams in Group B could advance to the final round, which interested the English and American national teams the most. America may have wanted to win more, but safety was the most important aspect on both sides: neither team wanted to lose.
That the three points were more important to the United States was also revealed in the 33rd minute, when Pulisic, the team’s biggest star, hit the crossbar from 13 metres.
There was a situation on the other side as well. In the 45th minute, Shaw played through Dest and then passed it. Saka arrived from a distance of 6-7 metres. He tried to push the ball into the goal a little behind him, but he shot too high. The English goal was half a win.
In extra time, Mount shot from in front of the penalty area, but the American goalkeeper made a wonderful save. For two minutes, England played to the best of their ability, and from a different perspective: America allowed England to play to their abilities for only two minutes.
The first quarter of an hour of the second half belonged to the Americans, with first McKennie and then Zimmermann in danger. Gareth Southgate expected some change in his playing style, but when that did not happen, he sent Henderson instead of the wooden Bellingham and Grealish instead of Sterling. The game didn’t get any better after that, especially the fielding and the fighting that took over the field. He came on for Saka Rashford, who scored with two touches against Iran, but the Americans also changed: Moore, Reyna and Sargent arrived. For another 10-15 minutes.
England then cautiously tried to win the game without risking it, but apart from Rashford’s weak shot, Maguire’s header that bounced off the ground and Kane’s header, nothing noteworthy happened on the pitch. There was no goal, and the score remained 0-0.
In the other match of the second group:
Wales – Iran 0–2 (0–0).
Group B ranking:
1. England 4 points
2. Iran 3 points
3. United States of America 2 points
4. Wales 1 punt