Soccer  > World Cup  > U.S. holds England to 1-1 draw
June 14, 2010, 10:34 AM
RUSTENBERG, South Africa - The United States scored on a howling mistake by England goalkeeper Robert Green and rallied for a 1-1 draw against England on Saturday in the opening game for both at the World Cup.

Green fumbled Clint Dempsey's skipping shot from 25 meters in the 40th minute, allowing it to dribble across the line to make the Fulham midfielder the only American other than Brian McBride to score in consecutive World Cups.

The equalizer came after the United States allowed a goal by Steven Gerrard and fell behind after only 3?? minutes.

The match was only the second between the two sides in the World Cup and first since the United States earned one of the tournament's biggest upsets, 1-0 in 1950. Dempsey's goal was also the first the Americans have scored against England away from home since the historic game 60 years ago.

"(The result) means we still have a chance to advance out of the group," Dempsey said. "So at least we got a point; that's the positive. And we have to go out and win the next two games."

Gerrard put the favored English ahead after a throw-in, taking a flicked ball behind the U.S. defense. Central defender Oguchi Onyewu, playing his first full match since tearing a knee tendon eight months ago in the Americans' final World Cup qualifier, was pulled out of position leaving space.

American midfielder Ricardo Clark failed to mark Gerrard closely, allowing him to control with one touch and flick the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard from the middle of the area with the outside of his right foot.

The Americans had at least an even amount of possession for the rest of the half, taking mostly chances from distance and finally converting on Dempsey's effort.

Demspey took the ball 30 meters from goal, twisted England defender Frank Lampard to create space before unleashing an ambitious left-footed effort that Green appeared to have covered three meters from the line, only to let it bounce off his hands and into the goal.

"It's one of those you always see people scoring and and you say, 'Hey how come that never happens to me," Dempsey said. "It's a goal that the keeper probably should have made a save on, but hey, they all count the same when they go in."

England came out more determined in the second half, creating more chances early, including a ball that sent Emile Heskey down the middle alone on Howard in the 52nd. But the Everton keeper cleanly handled Heskey's shot, that went directly into Howard's midsection.

The United States had its best chance in the second half when Jozy Altidore came in from the wide left in the 65th and put a shot that Green was able to block and deflect off the near post.

England pressed and had the better of chances late, forcing the United States into some desperate defending that enabled it to eventually make its own push in the final minutes.

The United States next faces Slovenia on Friday, while England will oppose Algeria in Group C.


Saturday, June 12
England 1, United States 1
Sunday, June 13
Algeria vs. Slovenia
Friday, June 18
Slovenia vs. United States
England vs. Algeria
Wednesday, June 23
United States vs. Algeria
Slovenia vs. England

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