Three Takeaways From USA-England First Half Tie in 2022 World Cup


And breathe.

The USMNT and England are currently locked in a 0-0 tie at the end of the first half of their Group B showdown in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Following Iran’s 2-0 triumph over Wales earlier on Friday, the U.S. has more breathing room with one more game to play on Tuesday.

But for now, both the U.S. and England are still waiting to find the back of the net with the group still wide open. Let’s took at three takeaways from the opening 45 minutes:

USMNT grows into the game

England dominated the ball throughout the first half with 62% possession to the USMNT’s 38%, but this was always going to be a transition battle for the latter. Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah, in particular, have been exceptional with their half-turns and runs into the advanced third to cause real pressure to England’s backline.

Though the U.S. has just one shot on target, playing a back four opposed to Wales’ five-man low block has allowed Musah and McKennie to play with more space around them. Christian Pulisic has also looked hungry to get on the score sheet.

Matt Turner remains strong in goal

Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka are huge threats in front of goal, but Matt Turner has remained strong between the sticks. The new Arsenal signing has looked good in distribution by playing the ball up the field in key areas and keeping possession calm when the U.S. halts an England attack.

His best moment came in the extra minute of stoppage time when Mason Mount hammered a low shot towards the bottom right corner that Turner parried out for a corner kick, subsequently ending the first half. Let’s see how the shot-stopper holds in the second half.

England’s right-hand side lacks fluidity

Luke Shaw has made some dangerous runs down the left-hand flank for England, providing another outlet alongside Sterling. But the same can’t be said for the other side. Saka, who bagged two goals in the opener against Iran, doesn’t have the same help with Keiran Trippier behind him.

Saka is being forced to tuck inside more, which is also negating the space right-center midfielder Jude Bellingham thrives on. It’ll be interesting to see if manager Gareth Southgate brings on Trent Alexander-Arnold or Ben White to unlock Saka on the right-hand side.

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