England vs USA: USMNT takes on England in potentially decisive World Cup meeting



CNN

After a frustrating 1-1 draw against Wales, this World Cup isn’t going to get any easier for the US Men’s National Team (USMNT).

A promising first-half performance and a well-taken goal from Timothy Weah on Monday were canceled out by Gareth Bale’s late penalty as the youthful USMNT were denied a campaign-opening victory in Qatar.

Next up are England, the favorites to top Group B, having thrashed Iran 6-2 earlier this week in an ominous sign for Wales and the USMNT in their bid to qualify for the playoffs.

But a win or a draw against England and USA coach Greg Berhalter will know his team could advance to the next round when they face Iran.

It will be the biggest test the USMNT’s so-called “golden generation” has faced under Berhalter, and perhaps an era-defining game for a team that struggled for form in the qualifying rounds.

“We know how good England will be. But again, we think we have a good game against them,” USA captain Tyler Adams said earlier this week, according to ESPN.

“We’re an athletic team. We think we’re dominant on the ball at times. You saw that [against Wales] with our counter pressure and how we are able to create a lot of transition moments.

Friday’s game will be played at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khoras and kicks off at 2:00 PM ET.

You have to go all the way back to 2002 when the USMNT last beat European opposition at the World Cup, though they held England to a 1-1 draw at the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

Otherwise, results have been in England’s favor, winning eight of the 11 meetings the sides have met, and another win would guarantee the 1966 World Cup winners a place in the knockout stages.

The good news for manager Gareth Southgate is that captain Harry Kane is fit to play after undergoing an ankle scan earlier this week, while Berhalter could look to 20-year-old Giovani Reina to bolster his side’s attack.

Harry Kane trains with England ahead of the USA clash.

Reina played as an unused substitute for Wales and said his fitness was “very good” after being plagued by injuries in recent months.

Wales and Iran compete in the other Group B game on Friday when they meet at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.

Despite being side by side in the FIFA rankings, Rob Page’s Wales side will be confident of victory after England exposed Iran’s weak defense on Monday. Both teams feel like they need to win the game to qualify for the playoffs.

Hosts Qatar return to action on Friday against Senegal, both of whom suffered defeats in their opening matches. Qatar were beaten 2-0 by Ecuador and Senegal lost to Holland by the same scoreline.

These two victorious teams will look to make it two wins when they meet at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Bale celebrates his equalizer against USA.

Wales v Iran – 5:00am EST

Qatar vs. Senegal – 8:00 a.m. ET

Netherlands vs. Ecuador – 11:00 a.m. ET

England vs. USA – 2:00 PM ET

USA: Fox Sports

UK: BBC or ITV

Australia: SBS

Brazil: SportTV

Germany: ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Telekom

Canada: Bell Media

South Africa: SABC

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