Sunday, June 13, 2010

world cup 2010: usa v england 1-1

It shouldn't have happened at all.  Football, though, is filled with impossible imaginings, especially during World Cup.  Having trailed 1-0 since the 4th minute when Steven Gerrard delivered a beauty of a shot past US keeper Tim Howard, the Yanks nevertheless kept their composure for much of the first half, biding their time until an advantageous opening was conjured.  Clint Dempsey, the rough-hewn yet dangerous US forward, eventually stepped up in the 40th minute with a bold yet speculative strike at best, lacking that special spark of invention.  It shouldn't have happened at all.  Not much power or finesse fueled it... an easy save for England keeper Robert Green to make.

But Green bumbled it--the football gods deciding that it was time to make an example of the West Ham keeper, reminding us all that the ball is capricious as much as it is functional.   1-1.

England pressured Howard plenty in the second half.  Heskey, Lampard, and Johnson all tested Howard--arguably the US's best player--but no opening could be exploited.  Rooney, who had been invisible for most of the game, reasserted his vocation to scoring, though the ball remained unconvinced.  And in the end, both teams walked away with a point each.  For the US, it was a fair result.  Something to work off of and the players' confidence should remain high.  For England, it must feel more like a loss, a bitter gob of spittle at the bottom of the pint glass.

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