England missed out on qualification for the knockout stage following a goalless draw against USA at Al Bayt Stadium, Doha in 2022 FIFA World Cup.
A fierce battle saw both teams struggle to produce decent chances at opposite ends, with Christian Pulisic rattling the bar for the Americans in the 33rd minute in USA’s best chance of the game.
England’s best opportunity fell in injury-time as Harry Kane headed over the bar from Luke Shaw’s free-kick.
Gareth Southate’s Three Lions therefore top Group B ahead of Iran who beat 10-man Wales in injury-time with two late goals in the other group match, with USA sat third still unbeaten after two draws ahead of Wales who now sit rock-bottom with faint hopes of qualification for the knockout stage.
Prior to kick-off, England named an unchanged starting line-up as Harry Kane started despite having been doubtful with a foot injury.
USA manager, Gregg Berhalter meanwhile dropped Josh Sargent to the bench and handed Haji Wright a starting position, in the only change from the Yanks’ line-up.
Neither team though were able to find an early breakthrough until Kane fired wide via deflection in the 10th minute, having collected Bukayo Saka’s square ball following Saka’s one-two pass with Jude Bellingham up the right flank.
Mason Mount then curled the resulting corner over the bar after he had been picked up by Harry Maguire, who had collected John Stones’ miscontrolled header.
USA’s first decent chance eventually came in the 20th minute as Sergino Dest saw his curled cross saved by Jordan Pickford, as the Americans broke on the counter-attack.
Weston McKennie six minutes later volleyed over from Timothy Weah’s cross before Yunus Musah fired over a further three minutes later, as USA began to enjoy a bright spell controlling the game.
Their best chance of the first-half eventually fell to Pulisic who picked up Musah’s pass from McKennie’s cross, yet his shot spectacularly rattled the bar and flew over.
Both teams then traded further chances without a breakthrough goal before half-time as England went closest twice, in which Saka first fired over the bar over from Luke Shaw’s pullback pass in the 44th minute.
Shaw then found Mount via Raheem Sterling’s flicked pass but the 23 year-old saw his shot towards his near bottom-left corner punched away by Matt Turner, who then saved Shaw’s corner kick comfortably.
USA though came out fighting just four minutes into the second-half as Pulisic collected an interception of Saka and teed up Wright to break forward on the counter, only for his shot to be blocked out to McKennie who fired over the bar.
England however were unable to settle and had to see off a pro-longed series of American set pieces around the hour mark, until Saka saw a 66th minute low cross saved by Turner after Bellingham’s pullback pass had initially been blocked.
Three Lions manager, Gareth Southgate consequently opted to make the first changes of the game as he substituted Bellingham and Sterling for Jordan Henderson and Jack Grealish, who added fresh pace to a team who were struggling to move beyond a slow tempo.
Improvement eventually came following further substitutions as Maguire saw a 90th minute header bounce, which Turner comfortably saved in his arms.
Kane then headed wide from Shaw’s direct free-kick on the left in the second minute of injury-time after substitute, Grealish had been fouled just outside of the box.
Both teams eventually settled for a goalless draw which left England sat top from Iran, USA and Wales with all four teams still able to mathematically qualify for the Round of 16.
Qatar Out Of World Cup
Mohammed Muntari scored Qatar’s first-ever World Cup goal as the tournament hosts fell to a 3-1 defeat against Senegal, as Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Bamba Dieng all scored for the African team.
Qatar’s exit was then mathematically confirmed after Enner Valencia cancelled out Cody Gakpo’s goal, as Ecuador came from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw against Netherlands.
Netherlands will take on Qatar in their final Group A game whilst Ecuador meet Senegal, with at least a draw seeing the Dutch and Ecuador through to the Last 16 whereas Senegal must hope for victory in order to qualify.
A draw however would be enough to see Senegal through if Netherlands suffer an unlikely heavy defeat against Qatar.
England: Jordan Pickford, Kieran Trippier, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Jude Bellingham (Henderson 69′), Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka (Rashford 78′), Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling (Grealish 68′), Harry Kane
Substitutes: Kyle Walker, Jack Grealish, Jordan Henderson, Marcus Rashford, Nick Pope, Kalvin Phillips, Eric Dier, Conor Coady, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Phil Foden, Ben White, Aaron Ramsdale, Callum Wilson, Conor Gallagher
USA: Matt Turner, Sergino Dest (Moore 78′), Walker Zimmerman, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Weston McKennie (Aaronson 77′), Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Timothy Weah (Reyna 83′), Haji Wright (Sargeant 83′), Christian Pulisic
Substitutes: Giovanni Reyna, Jesus Ferreira, Brenden Aaronson, Ethan Hovarth, Luca De La Torre, Aaron Long, Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan, Shaq Moore, Cameron Carter-Vickers, DeAndre Yedlin, Kellyn Acosta, Josh Sargent, Joe Scally
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (Venezuela)