World Cup 2022: USA draws with England, making final game of group play must-win

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When Iran defeated Wales earlier Friday, it opened up some doors for the United States to advance to the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup.

Iran’s victory gave the U.S. the ability to control its own destiny, and after Friday’s 0-0 draw against a heavily-favored England team, they still do.

A draw was unexpected (+325 in some books), while a U.S. win was upward of +600 elsewhere, so it sure wasn’t a negative outcome for the USMNT. 

World Cup 2022: USA draws with England, making final game of group play must-win

But next Tuesday’s match will still be nerve-wracking (more on that soon).

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World Cup 2022: USA draws with England, making final game of group play must-win

Bukayo Saka of England vies with Tyler Adams of the U.S. during a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, on Friday.
(Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In the 10th minute, Walker Zimmerman blocked a shot by England that otherwise would have found the back of the net. The Brits had the first corner of the game, but the U.S. was able to escape that threat, and a couple others, as England dominated possession early.

But the Americans tightened up shortly thereafter. 

Weston McKennie got a great look on a beautiful cross from Tim Weah in the 26th minute, but his one-timer went high and over the net. Just three minutes later, a shot by Yunus Musah was blocked right in front of him. In the 33rd minute, Christian Pulisic ripped a shot that went off the crossbar. 

The U.S. also got two corners in the span of two minutes, and Pulisic had a header in the 43rd minute that went just wide. A one-timer by an English player went high in the 45th minute, and a minute later, Matt Turner made a huge save to keep the game scoreless at halftime, his first of the match. 

World Cup 2022: USA draws with England, making final game of group play must-win

Christian Pulisic of the U.S. in action during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match against England at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, on Friday.
(Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The U.S. had five corners in a five-minute span early in the second half, but were unable to put anything on the scoreboard. The Americans also were able to avert any threat England had near the box.

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In the 89th minute, the Americans made a trip into England’s box but were unable to get a shot off. In the 91st minute, England had a corner, but Turner cradled a weak header. England also had a free kick in the 93rd minute on the other side of the field, but a header went wide of the net. In the 94th minute, the U.S. had a free kick from deep, but after England knocked it out of bounds, the final whistle blew.

World Cup 2022: USA draws with England, making final game of group play must-win

USMNT players huddle at halftime during their FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match against England at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, on Friday.
(Markus Gilliar/GES Sportfoto/Getty Images)

England held possession for 55% of the match to the Americans’ 45%, and the U.S. had 10 shots to England’s eight. However, only one of the Americans’ shots was on goal, while England had three shots on goal. The USMNT also had seven corner kicks to England’s three.

The U.S., now with two points (0-2-0), will face Iran (1-0-1, three points) on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET. The U.S. sits in third place in the group ahead of Wales (0-1-1, one point), while England (1-1-0) sits atop Group B with four points.

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The Americans do control their own destiny. A win on Tuesday puts them into the knockout stage, but a loss or tie will result in elimination and another disappointing tournament for the U.S.

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