England under fire over 'horrible' scenes in draw with USA at World Cup

England, pictured here after being held to a 0-0 draw with the USA at the World Cup.
England were held to a 0-0 draw with the USA at the World Cup. Image: Getty

England have come under fire over a lifeless performance against USA at the FIFA World Cup after the Poms were held to a 0-0 draw on Friday. England suffered a sobering reality check as they were outplayed for long periods by a youthful United States side.

The Three Lions, famously beaten by America at the World Cup in 1950, could have been the first team through to the last 16 in Qatar with a win on Friday. But instead they will be happy to come away with a draw given the chances that the USA had.

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England were unchanged from their 6-2 thrashing of Iran in their opening game, with Harry Kane fit after a foot problem. However they were strangely ponderous from the start against the Americans.

The US were bolder than in the 1-1 draw with Wales and had much the better chances in the first half. Haji Wright, the only new name in the starting line-up, headed wide before Weston McKennie fired over and Christian Pulisic struck the bar.

Kane had an early effort blocked and Mason Mount had England's best first-half chance saved. The Three Lions had more possession after the break but created very little as Qatar saw its fifth 0-0 draw already, with the entire tournament record not far away at seven.

Iran had earlier revived their last 16 hopes with a late 2-0 win over a weary Wales. Qualification from the group now goes to the last round of matches on Tuesday when England meet Wales in a battle of Britain and the US face Iran in a game with political implications.

England players, pictured here after their draw with USA at the World Cup.
England players look on after their draw with USA at the World Cup. (Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images)

Kane admitted England were far from their best on Friday, saying: "We had some good spells with the ball, created some good positions, just didn't quite have the final product today, but a clean sheet puts us in a great position in the group.

"(It was) the complete contrast to the game against Iran when we took our chances really well. Today we had two or three opportunities and didn't quite put it away. We played a tough team and we move on.

"We know we can play better than that for sure. No game is easy in a World Cup. After our first performance people thought we were going to landslide every team we play but it's not the case."

Fans and commentators took to social media to slam England's performance in a game many thought they would win easily.

Qatar make unwanted history at World Cup

Earlier on Friday, Qatar broke the record for the fastest a host nation has ever been knocked out of a World Cup. Qatar's campaign is over after just five days, with Ecuador's 1-1 draw with Netherlands sealing their fate.

It marks the shortest amount of time that a host nation has lasted at a World Cup in the event's 92-year history. Qatar can’t qualify for the last 16 no matter what happens in its last game against Netherlands.

South Africa had been the only other home team to fail to make it out of the group stage when it hosted the tournament back in 2010. But on that occasion they at least managed a win and a draw and only missed out on goal difference.

Qatar's flop will leave FIFA facing more scrutiny after their controversial $220 billion decision to stage the World Cup in the Middle East for the first time. Qatar had never qualified for the World Cup before FIFA's highly-contentious decision - giving the team automatic entry. Although the oil-and gas-rich nation spent around $220 billion of its vast riches on building stadiums, roads and even a new city for the World Cup, it couldn't put together a solid defence for the team.

with agencies

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