BBC Sport world-cup-2010


England 1-1 USA

By Sam Lyon & Jonathan Stevenson
  1. 17:00 Commentary  

    It feels like it has been a long time coming but, for England, the wait is almost over. Ready?

  2. 17:03 Commentary  

    Yep, in just over two hours, Fabio Capello's men shake off the attentions of an overeager training complex press pack, dust the boredom off their shoulders, and forget about a couple of lacklustre warm-up matches, for their 2010 World Cup campaign gets under way in earnest against the United States in Rustenburg. It's safe to say the players can hardly wait... can you?

  3. 17:07 Commentary  

    I'm Sam Lyon and I'll be your host for the next 90 minutes or so as we build up to the Group C opener before I hand back to Jonathan Stevenson in South Africa. And I'll tell you what I want - what I really, really want - it's for you to get involved in a big way. Tweet me @sampatricklyon, send your texts to 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide), or get cracking on 606, where the debate has long been raging. Bosh.

  4. Twitter  

    From US President Barack Obama: "Best of luck to the U.S. soccer team - you’re representing all of us at the World Cup. We're incredibly proud of what you’ve done already."

  5. 17:12 Commentary  

    I tell you what, a rallying cry from the President to the US football team at the World Cup? And on Twitter? Them times really are a'changing... Anyone know if Prime Minister David Cameron is a Tweeter?

  6. SMS  

    From JV, Newcastle upon Tyne: "Replica shirt on: check. Flag of St George round the waste: check. Pound a pint in the Dog and Parrot: check. Let's have it!"

  7. Twitter  

    From shivamLM: "Shouldn't you change your name to Sam 'Three' Lyon(s) for the match?"

  8. 17:17 Commentary  

    Now then, according to Don Fabio, he will be telling his England squad who the selected XI for this evening's game is two hours before kick-off - so in about 15 or so minutes. And plenty of questions remain. Who will start in goal? Will Steve Gerrard partner Frank Lampard in central midfield? Will James Milner oust Joe Cole for a place on the left? Will Emile Heskey partner Wayne Rooney up front? I bet you lot have plenty of theories...

  9. Twitter  

    From Number10gov: "Prime Minister David Cameron has recorded a video message wishing the England football team good luck."

  10. Contributor BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar  

    Via Twitter: "Lively, good atmosphere around the stadium. Several fully costumed up Captain Americas."

  11. SMS  

    From Javid in India: "I hope England thrash the US and send out a message to Spain & co! That would set us up nicely for the rest of the tournament."

  12. Contributor BBC Sport's Alan Hansen  

    "The obvious place to play Steven Gerrard is off Wayne Rooney and if England are to do well in this World Cup, they have to adopt those tactics at some point. Every time Steven Gerrard plays on the left you're not getting the best from him. You have to give him a free run and let him attack. Driving forward from the middle of the park is Gerrard's best position by a mile."

  13. 17:28 Commentary  

    Of course there will be two teams out there tonight, and there are plenty backing the US. In fact, reports suggest there will be 10,000 US fans in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg compared to just 6,000 England supporters. I wonder if they are all well armed with Vuvuzelas? I'm still in love with those bad boys.

  14. SMS  

    Mick The Mick: "I’ve got a feelin that the US might just start fast and furious and nick an early goal - that’ll test the Eng-er-land metal!"

  15. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "We are playing a US side that have not kept a clean sheet for 10 games, so we have to go for it. I'm not being disrespectful - they did beat Spain in the Confederations Cup last summer - but we are playing the US, we need to go at this team from the start because they concede goals. The confidence that will flow from a positive result tonight will be fantastic."

  16. 17:35 Commentary  

    Right, let me hit you with some knowledge. England and the US have met nine times in international football, England winning seven and the US two. England are on a run of three straight wins over the US - but they lost the two sides' only previous encounter at a World Cup, the US's 1-0 win in 1950 - the first ever major upset at a World Cup. Pick the omens out of that lot why don't you.

  17. Twitter  

    Comedian David Schneider: "Just to remind all makers of UK zombie films. You have 90 minutes from 7.30pm for the deserted London street scene."

  18. 17:42 Commentary  

    Talking of omens (see 17:35), England will be hoping for a rather better start to their oversea mission than the British and Irish Lions endured at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium last summer when they needed late tries to avoid an embarrassing defeat against a Royal XV side. I don't know. Is that tenuous?

  19. SMS  

    From Anon: "Arrived at the ground and the atmosphere is really starting to build, despite lots of English fans struggling with their vuvuzelas!"

  20. Twitter  

    From _Jaza_: "The US were very fast, fit, athletic vs Aussies recently. England need to match that. I'd go 4-5-1 with Cole on the left. Run at them."

  21. Twitter  

    From thefadotcom: "Staff at the Royal Marang all have flag of St. George painted on their faces as England prepare to leave for the stadium."

  22. 17:52 Commentary  

    So, if Fabio Capello is to be believed, he will already have told the squad what his starting XI is tonight. We understand that this selection will be made public to the media at around 18:30 BST. To say the Italian has kept his cards close to his chest is as apparent as Capello's dislike for covert photography of his team's dressing rooms.

  23. 17:55 Commentary  

    The rumour sweeping the Bakofeng Stadium, says our chief football writer on the scene Phil McNulty, is that Rob Green has got the nod in goal, while James Milner will start on the left in place of Joe Cole.

  24. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Nevin  

    "The potential England have for flowing, attacking football is very exciting. Two up front, two wingers, Lampard and Gerrard in the middle, two attacking full-backs... it's potentially very impressive."

  25. 17:59 Commentary  

    And if you're sitting at home/at a BBQ/down the local pub wondering what it would be like to be in Rustenburg right now building up for kick-off, BBC sports news correspondent James Pearce has only gone and put a cracking video up on his Twitter. Get involved.

  26. 18:01 Commentary  

    Rumours continue to filter through about the England line-up - if they are true, we are looking at... Green, Johnson, King, Terry, A Cole, Lennon, Lampard, Gerrard, Milner, Heskey, Rooney. That's if they are true.

  27. Twitter  

    From Hannah_McF: "Re: 17:42 - Tenuous omens? "3 Lions" was played on random by my mp3 player, then I spilt tea on my England shirt. No idea what it means."

  28. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "Wayne Rooney needs to hurt the opposition in their half and conserve his energy. Fabio Capello has obviously told him : "We want you central, linking in with Heskey". It's a simple, easy thing that has helped Wayne Rooney no end."

  29. SMS  

    From Tim in Hong Kong: "I am so excited! Isn’t the mind amazing? 44 years of hurt and disillusion wiped away by a surge of mindless optimism?"

  30. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    Via Twitter: "Green a sensible choice if doubts remain over David James' fitness. Milner selection may be ploy to blunt threat of Donovan."

  31. 18:09 Commentary  

    What's that? You've always wondered how the England football shirts are made? I bet you have! Well luckily for you there's a video on it on the FA website - though you have to scroll down the page a touch. You lucky things you.

  32. 18:13 Commentary  

    And after you've gazing fixedly at the stitching of Michael Dawson's England top, why not take some time out to learn a bit about the US team themselves? Paul Fletcher can tell you all about the Bradley father-and-son team, Lee Dixon has presented his tactical analysis, there's an insider's view and, as if that wasn't enough, Tim Vickery dreams of reviving his Hollywood career. Happy days.

  33. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's David Moyes  

    "I think if (US keeper) Tim Howard was English he may well be starting in goal for England tonight - that is how highly I rate him. He is a great man - that is his biggest quality. He is a great keeper, he played basketball when he was younger and is very athletic, he is great at taking crosses, he has experience and has been a top man for us. He gets around the goal very quickly. He is vocal in the dressing room."

  34. 18:15 Commentary CONFIRMED ENGLAND XI v US  

    Green, Johnson, King, Terry, A Cole, Lennon, Lampard, Gerrard, Milner, Heskey, Rooney.

  35. SMS  

    From Anon: "This is too much. I'm at a wedding in the middle of Norfolk nowhereness, just been told there is no TV reception. Speeches not started yet, need to usher thi ngs along so I can get out. Any ideas?"
    Well, as you've not given your name, you might as well do a runner to the nearest widescreen TV you can find and, you know, apologise later?

  36. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    "Big night for Robert Green as Fabio Capello places his faith in the West Ham United keeper as his first-choice World Cup keeper. Not done anything wrong at England level, but perhaps lacks the presence of David James. It appears James' knee injury has counted against him and Capello, rightly, feels Joe Hart is just to inexperienced to throw into this pressure situation. Also time for Emile Heskey to demonstrate he is not simply Wayne Rooney's silent partner when it comes to contributing goals to Fabio Capello's side."

  37. Twitter  

    Daily Express journalist Matt Lawton: "In stadium for England game - USA players just walked out and Jay DeMerit was dancing to whatever was on his Ipod. Looked remarkably relaxed."

  38. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Mike Ingham  

    "I think a a lot of people would have thought Joe Cole would play but James Milner will play on the left because of Landon Donovan. He gave Ashley Cole a hard time when he played against him for Everton against Chelsea last season and Milner is a bit more defensive minded than Joe and so can provide cover."

  39. 18:25 Commentary CONFIRMED US TEAM v ENGLAND  

    Howard, Cherundolo, DeMerit, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Donovan, Bradley, Clark, Dempsey, Altidore, Findley.

  40. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    On the Gerrard-Lampard partnership: "If one goes forward one stays back. Is that difficult? So much has been made of this that people just assume they can't play together. It really gets to me. Both Gerrard and Lampard are intelligent players - don't tell me they can't play together."

  41. 18:30 Commentary  

    And on that outburst from Graham Taylor, I'll hand you over to Jonathan Stevenson out in South Africa... make sure you keep the chat coming people. My word I'm one excited bunny...!

  42. 18:35 Commentary  

    Thanks very much Sam Lyon, consider my appetite suitably whet. I’m Jonathan Stevenson, and from the perpetually buzzing Johannesburg I’m going to present our coverage of England v USA at the 2010 World Cup. Refresh the page and let's get going.

  43. 18:39 Commentary  

    Like the man said - let's keep that chat coming. I want to hear from you loud, I want to hear from you proud: buzz me on text on 81111 (UK) and +44 7786200666 (worldwide); whack me a Tweet @Stevo_football; and get stuck in with the great and the even greater as they chat the night away on 606. Remember - time waits for no man (or woman).

  44. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's David Moyes  

    "If he has any great weakness, Landon Donovan, I'd say he isn't the strongest of lads, but technically he doesn't have any. He's a great lad and works so hard and he was brilliant for us at Everton. USA will be trying to get the ball to him as much as possible tonight."

  45. 18:42 Commentary Full England v USA line-ups:  

    England: Green, Johnson, Terry, King, Ashley Cole, Lennon, Lampard, Gerrard, Milner, Heskey, Rooney.
    Subs: James, Barry, Carragher, Carrick, Joe Cole, Crouch, Dawson, Defoe, Upson, Warnock, Wright-Phillips, Hart.
    USA: Howard, Cherundolo, DeMerit, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Dempsey, Bradley, Clark, Donovan, Findley, Altidore.
    Subs: Guzan, Beasley, Bornstein, Buddle, Edu, Feilhaber, Gomez, Goodson, Holden, Spector, Torres, Hahnemann.
    Referee: Carlos Eugenio Simon (Brazil)

  46. SMS  

    From Tom Perez, a Zimbabwean in London: "Lamps to score a hat-trick of swerving strikes, with all assists going to Jabulani."

  47. 18:47 Commentary  

    Seems like an eternity since England last played a football match at a major tournament, doesn’t it? Well, in footballing terms, I reckon 1,443 days counts as an eternity. Cast your mind back to 1 July, 2006, when Wayne Rooney stamped on Ricardo Carvalho and England lost to Portugal on penalties. For Rooney, for England and for us all, the wait is so nearly over.

  48. 606  

    From SimplyZola: "Onyewu hasn't played a lot of football this season. He can be exposed."

  49. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Mike Ingham MBE  

    "England have always had a problem picking someone up in the hole behind a striker, so Landon Donovan might cause it tonight. As for Ledley King - there hasn't been a situation like it for England, has there? They will be hoping he can play all seven matches in the next month."

  50. 18:54 Commentary Official White House release:  

    Finally, the President [Barack Obama] and the Prime Minister [David Cameron] agreed to disagree on the desired outcome of the 12 June USA-England World Cup soccer match; the President noted that the historical record of previous World Cup matches between the United States and England favors the United States and the President wagered the best lager against the best beer in America on an American win over England."

  51. Twitter BBC Sport's Phil McNulty:  

    From philmcnulty: "Rio Ferdinand & David Beckham watching from the sidelines as England warm up."

  52. 18:58 Commentary  

    Here's a potential talking point for tonight: can the England fans become the first set of supporters at the World Cup to drown out the sound of the vuvuzelas? If they can't, surely no-one can.

  53. 19:01 Commentary  

    Want the lowdown on England’s World Cup opener? Where to begin… as well as the pieces Sam mentioned at 18:13, there’s Noel Sliney’s team guide on the three lions and the USA too, chief football writer Phil McNulty’s blog preview focusing on Fabio and John Motson’s prediction for the game (video UK only). If you haven’t got time to read/watch all this stuff, make it - your mates down the pub will be ever so grateful later.

  54. 19:04 Commentary  

    In less than half an hour, England's 2010 World Cup campaign will get under way against USA in Rustenberg, which means 'place of rest'.

  55. 19:06 Commentary  

    England's Lewis Hamilton has just claimed pole position for Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix - Hamilton and his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button both revealed on Friday they will be watching the game this evening, cheering on England. Button qualified in fifth. Well done boys.

  56. Contributor BBC Sport's James Pearce  

    On Twitter: "England and USA players warming up while their names are announced to the crowd."

  57. SMS  

    From Mike: "Watching Swan Lake at the Albert Hall with my ex! Kick-off here is at 7.30 too! Keep me updated as there are two intervals during the 3-hour balletic extravaganza!!"

  58. 19:14 Commentary  

    England have played USA before at a World Cup, in case you’d missed all that chat this week. In 1950, in their first appearance at the tournament, the English side slipped to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of their friends from over the Atlantic – a game since dubbed the ‘Miracle on Grass’. Think Cameroon in 1990, think Senegal in 2002 – but this was the original World Cup upset and it sent shockwaves throughout the game. For keeper Bert Williams, defeat still hurts 60 years on. If you want a different take on it, read Tim Vickery’s cracking blog.

  59. 19:16 Commentary  

    Getting close, isn't it?

  60. 606  

    From red as tomatoes: "Heskey is playing, watch Rooney shine."

  61. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    On Twitter: "Baldini, Capello's right-hand man, greets England's players warmly as they head for the dressing room. Good cop, bad cop?"

  62. 19:22 Commentary  

    The England players are in the tunnel first, swiftly joined by the Americans.

  63. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    "England captain Steven Gerrard - watched from the touchline by his injured predecessor Rio Ferdinand - called the team together in a huddle at the end of their warm-up. He revealed on Thursday that the final words in the dressing-room before a game always went to coach Fabio Capello. Capello has delivered the message and now England must act upon it."

  64. 19:25 Commentary  

    Fabio Capello, Franco Baldini and Stuart Pearce wait patiently behind the last England player in the tunnel, James Milner, as Steven Gerrard and Carlos Bocanegra lead the teams out.

  65. 19:26 Commentary  

    Rise, for the anthems of England and USA.

  66. 19:28 Commentary  

    The players felt those anthems, that much was clear. England and USA are moments away from kick-off at World Cup 2010 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenberg, South Africa.

  67. 19:31 KICK-OFF England v USA  

    England's World Cup campaign is under way as Fabio Capello's men kick off. If you'd like a different sort of commentary, there's a minute-by-minute one going on right here.

  68. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Alan Green  

    "Fifa thought there would be more American fans than England fans but England fans once again dominate. How they get their tickets, heaven only knows."

  69. 3 mins Commentary  

    Fairly slow start to proceedings in Rustenberg, with USA perhaps shading the very early stages. Nothing like an early chance yet, though.

  70. 4 mins GOAL England 1-0 USA  

    There's been a chance now. USA are sleeping at the back as England take a quick throw down their right, the ball is fed in to Emile Heskey on the edge of the box and captain Steven Gerrard leads the way, brilliantly slotting low past Tim Howard from 14 yards. Dream start.

  71. Contributor BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson  

    "Keep the pressure on the Americans, keep the pressure on. We spoke about their defensive weaknesses - and now we've seen it."

  72. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "It was a very good finish. Gerrard was never picked up from the throw-in. We've already seen the early signs, the Americans are poor defensively."

  73. 8 mins Commentary  

    Ah, Emile Heskey. Who needs to score when you can do that, eh? All hail the new Stephane Guiv'arch - we hope.

  74. 9 mins Commentary  

    First sign of Landon Donovan in Rustenberg, but John Terry gets across like lightning to snuff out the danger. Top defending.

  75. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    "Perfect start for England to this World Cup. And when Steven Gerrard said it was "time to deliver" he has set the ideal example for his team-mates to follow. Fabio Capello's reaction? What appeared to be thinly-concealed rage. He is hard to please isn't he?"

  76. 13 mins Commentary  

    From the resulting corner, former Newcastle centre-back Oguchi Onyewu heads over the top. Bit of pressure for USA right now.

  77. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "We've scored, we're winning, but we've not passed the ball, we've not moved it, we haven't taken control of the game. America have had more possession."

  78. 17 mins Commentary  

    Chris Waddle's right - England aren't playing very well. They really have only put together one decent move so far, and it ended up with Steven Gerrard scoring.

  79. 19 mins Commentary  

    Should be 1-1. Landon Donovan floats over a beautiful head-me-in cross from the USA right and up gets Jozy Altidore, only for the Hull City striker to glance it wide from close range.

  80. 20 mins Commentary  

    Couple of half-openings for England - Aaron Lennon's cross from the right is well defended by USA on the edge of their six-yard box, while moments later Wayne Rooney shoots tamely wide from about 25 yards.

  81. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "England are all over the place. Altidore's six yards out and if he heads that on target he will score. That should be a goal."

  82. SMS  

    From Anon: "In a packed sports bar in San Diego with an Irishman who says it’s illegal for him to support England, and I’m wearing the only England shirt.. A lonely experience..."

  83. 25 mins Commentary  

    USA are having much more of the ball than England - Fabio's boys are chasing a lot of shadows at the moment. Is it just me, or should this be the other way around?

  84. 26 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Clint Dempsey skips past one challenge on halfway, takes the ball forward and hammers in a shot that is blocked by John Terry. Moments later, the almost invisible James Milner is booked for a foul on Steve Cherundolo.

  85. 27 mins Commentary  

    Chance, again. From the ensuing free-kick, Landon Donovan whips it in from the right and Oguchi Onyewu glances a header wide. He perhaps should have hit the target too.

  86. 28 mins Commentary  

    Pressure from England this time and after Emile Heskey fizzes a cross along the six-yard box from the left, Steven Gerrard does the same from the right which is well defended by USA. Then, Emile Heskey is inches away from poking in Glen Johnson's cross from the right - but he makes contact with Tim Howard, and the USA keeper needs treatment.

  87. 30 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    James Milner's World Cup debut ends is huge diappointment, but he'll be back. Perhaps still struggling with a virus and moments after being booked, he is taken off and replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

  88. 31 mins Commentary  

    Tim Howard looks like he's in a bit of pain, but the Everton goalkeeper will carry on at least for now. Hasn't half an hour flown by?

  89. 32 mins Commentary  

    Jozy Altidore's got ambition - he lashes in a shot from fully 30 yards, but it's all along the floor and easily dealt with by Robert Green. Fifa's possession stats show 59%-41% in USA's favour so far.

  90. 606  

    From darkanddom: "Is Lampard playing? Someone please remind me. Same with Rooney. Are they playing?"

  91. 35 mins Commentary  

    Fabio Capello's side do give the ball away easily, but have you known many times when an England side has looked so much like scoring every time they go forward? This time Shaun Wright-Phillips' cross is blocked by Richard Clark - but they are causing some problems.

  92. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "Give America credit. England just can't get the ball. Lampard cannot get the ball out to the wingers. Maybe Capello has to say to the wide men they need to tuck in but it's difficult because they still want the width."

  93. 37 mins Commentary  

    Nicely shifted from right to left by Wayne Rooney, but a promising England move ends with Shaun Wright-Phillips firing wide from about 25 yards. He's looked lively since coming on, the little winger.

  94. 39 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Landon Donovan picks up the ball 30 yards from the England goal and shifts it to the right, where he fizzes in a shot that flies not far wide of Robert Green's right-hand post. Steve Cherundolo is then booked for a foul on Shaun Wright-Phillips.

  95. 40 mins GOAL England 1-1 USA  

    It's a disaster for Robert Green and England. Clint Dempsey twists and turns 25 yards out and wriggles free of his marker, hitting a low shot goalwards. It looks like a comfortable take for Green, but somehow the ball slips through his attempted grasp and before he can get back in time, it rolls agonisingly over the line. Incredible.

  96. 42 mins Commentary  

    It's an unmitigated disaster. Robert Green held his hands up immediately, as if to accept blame for his mistake - he must wish the ground would open up and swallow him whole. You have to feel for him.

  97. 606  

    From RAF: "I feel for Green. I hope we can still win so that this won't be put on his shoulders. The midfield has been non-existent."

  98. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Mike Ingham MBE  

    "At this level that should never, never happen. All the debate about the goalkeeping situation coming into the game, Robert Green was selected and that was a complete howler."

  99. 45 mins INJURY TIME  

    Into three minutes of stoppage time in the first half in Rustenberg.

  100. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "He hasn't gone down with his body behind it. You get your body behind it. It's a terrible, terrible mistake."

  101. 45 mins Commentary  

    Robert Green boots the ball in the South African sky from a goalkick - penny for the West Ham keeper's thoughts right now.

  102. 20:18 HALF-TIME England 1-1 USA  

    The half-time whistle goes in Rustenberg and there is only one man all the cameras are trained on: Robert Green.

  103. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    "Words clearly cannot fail me but they almost did there. England keeper Robert Green will take a long time to live down somehow allowing Clint Dempsey's shot to go in. Forget the new World Cup footballs - that was simply an horrendous piece of goalkeeping. England's lack of a top-class, undisputed keeper was one of the big pre-World Cup fears and we have just seen why. The United States' supporters were almost as late in reacting as Green. It was that bad."

  104. Twitter  

    From optajoe: "Rob Green made more errors leading to goals than any other player in the Premier League last season. Calamity."

  105. SMS  

    From Hitesh: "My 9-year-old son just commented that Green should be sent to Greenland forever."

  106. 20:27 Commentary  

    Think back to that USA goal and how bad you felt when it went in. Multiply that by about 25 million and you're getting close to how Rob Green must have felt at that moment. His World Cup debut, too. It's a heartbreaker, isn't it?

  107. 606  

    From barrymanulow: "England are playing well, and a draw here would not be a bad result. This is our hardest match in the group."

    There's always one, isn't there?

  108. 20:32 SUBSTITUTION  

    Fabio Capello emerges from the tunnel, hands in pockets, looking suitably enraged still. He's making a half-time change - Jamie Carragher comes on for Ledley King. Oh for the love of...

  109. 20:34 Commentary England 1-1 USA  

    We are back under way in Rustenberg. Anyone else feel ill?

  110. 47 mins Commentary  

    My colleague Andy just sent me a link to a story on Rob Green he wrote more than four years ago, with the words 'Green and World Cups don't go'. He ain't wrong.

  111. 48 mins YELLOW CARD  

    USA defender Jay DeMerit is booked for a pretty needless handball. Moments later Aaron Lennon's searing pace gets him to the byline down the right and his cross evades all the England players waiting inside the six-yard box. Almost.

  112. 50 mins Commentary  

    England are in a real World Cup battle here. For a moment it looks like Wayne Rooney is clean through, but the flag had gone up ages before. Fabio is furious (shall I stop mentioning how angry he is?).

  113. 52 mins Commentary  

    Aaron Lennon plays a gorgeous through ball for Emile Heskey and the Aston Villa player is in on goal - but the big man can only fire his shot straight at Tim Howard. Gilt-edged chance for a World Cup striker, that.

  114. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "This is a lot better. Lennon has been heavily involved. The Americans have been very, very slow. Maybe they are thinking they have got back in the game and will defend but that's not their strength."

  115. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    "England coach Fabio Capello is not having a great night. The decision to pick Robert Green has backfired. The decision to play James Milner despite illness has backfired. The decision to risk the injury-troubled Ledley King has backfired. Apart from that..."

  116. 55 mins Commentary  

    England are playing better, but USA have perhaps been more formidable opposition than many people were expecting. These boys can play football, and they are showing it on the greatest stage of all right now.

  117. SMS  

    From Will: "Waiting for my plane to take off for Cape Town, going to see England v Algeria... anyone want my ticket?"

  118. 59 mins Commentary  

    Emile Heskey flicks on a Robert Green goalkick, but it falls the wrong side for Wayne Rooney to run on to. He's had nothing but scraps so far today, the Manchester United striker. Still waiting for his first World Cup goal, too.

  119. 59 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Jamie Carragher has been on the pitch for 14 minutes and he is in the book for his second poor challenge already, this time sliding and late on Robbie Findley.

  120. 61 mins YELLOW CARD  

    England captain Steven Gerrard is the next man in the book of Brazilian refere Carlos Eugenio Simon for a high tackle on Clint Dempsey.

  121. 62 mins Commentary  

    Landon Donovan whips the ball in from the resulting free-kick and Carlos Bocanegra heads wide from eight yards.

  122. 63 mins Commentary  

    First flash of Frank Lampard's quality as he cuts inside a challenge 25 yards out and hits a decent left-footer that forces Tim Howard to push over. The corner falls kindly for Glen Johnson, but he snatches at it and can only drag a left-foot shot wide from 10 yards.

  123. 64 mins HITS THE WOODWORK  

    Oh my goodness this is too much to bear. Jozy Altidore skins Jamie Carragher down the USA left - and Carragher can't touch him, because one more foul and he's off. Altidore cuts inside and fires a shot goalwards that Robert Green deflects on to the post.

  124. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Graham Taylor  

    "The way the second half has started it was obvious Capello has had some words at the break. The USA have found it difficult when we have pressed them. They have come back into it since then but we are still on top."

  125. 66 mins Commentary  

    Glen Johnson has a cut lip and he's got to jog all the way around the pitch from his position at right-back to get treatment. He's got blood on his shirt too, so they'll need to get him a new one. Intense, isn't it?

  126. 68 mins YELLOW CARD  

    Frank Lampard goes the same way of Juan Veron, Lionel Messi and all the others with a set-piece, blasting a 30-yard free-kick into the South African sky.

  127. 606  

    From Logos: "Rooney is playing so deep, get forward Wayne. Heskey has had a great game apart from his awful shooting."

  128. 71 mins Commentary  

    Steven Gerrard fizzes over a cross from the England right in that familiar style of his, swivelling as he hits it, but it's a bit too high for Wayne Rooney and he's offside anyway. Peter Crouch is warming up.

  129. 73 mins Commentary  

    USA try to get the pace of Jozy Altidore away again, but this time the ball over the top is a little too strong. As 'God Save the Queen' is sung on the terraces, Jamie Carragher does really well to deal with Robbie Findley on the break.

  130. 74 mins YELLOW CARD  

    That could have been nasty. Robbie Findley catches England captain Steven Gerrard just above the ankle and he is booked. Gerrard goes down, but he'll be OK to continue. Wayne Rooney lashes in a speculative 30-yarder that screams narrowly wide of Tim Howard's left-hand post. Whoosh.

  131. 75 mins Commentary  

    Wayne Rooney finds some space just outside the USA area and he tees up Shaun Wright-Phillips 12 yards out, only for the winger to shoot straight at Tim Howard. Wasteful.

  132. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    "Fabio Capello has another problem to add to his list - namely a glaring lack of real pace in central defence. It was exposed by the manner in which Jozy Altidore made Jamie Carragher appear to be almost heading in the opposite direction before forcing Robert Green to turn his shot on to the post. Worrying. And will get even more worrying should England progress to the latter stages."

  133. 77 mins SUBSTITUTION  

    Steven Gerrard flings over another cross from the right and Emile Heskey climbs high only to head over the crossbar. USA bring Edson Buddle on for the lively Robbie Findley.

  134. 79 mins Commentary  

    Peter Crouch is on for Emile Heskey. It's Fabio Capello's last hand, tonight at least.

  135. SMS  

    Danny from Fremantle: "The years of the Premier League big boys ignoring English keepers is bearing fruit."

  136. Contributor BBC Radio 5 live's Chris Waddle  

    "This game is very stretched. You can expose Jamie Carragher one-on-one with pace. The Americans have the pace but just cannot find the quality with the final ball."

  137. 83 mins Commentary  

    Decent possession football from England for a couple of moments, but they cannot fashion an opening from it. Not long left now - does this game have a winner left in it? Place those bets now.

  138. 84 mins Commentary  

    England break and it looks like four against four for a brief moment - Aaron Lennon crosses from the byeline on the right, but Frank Lampard cannot get a telling touch at the near post.

  139. 86 mins Commentary  

    US take Jozy Altidore off and send on Bolton's Stuart Holden. Good shift from the big striker tonight.

  140. 87 mins Commentary  

    Fans of omens might like to know that at the last World Cup, champions-in-waiting Italy drew one of their group games 1-1 against USA. Have some of that, naysayers.

  141. 89 mins Commentary  

    England are taking their time to build attacks, as their loyal fans urge them to go forward with time running out. Landon Donovan sets his sights 30 yards out, but it ends up harmlessly over Rob Green's crossbar.

  142. 90 mins INJURY TIME  

    We're into four minutes of injury time and USA have a corner.

  143. 606  

    From nychammer66: "Are we playing for a draw?"

  144. 90 mins Commentary  

    Nothing came of the corner, but England's possession in USA's half ends with a foul given against Peter Crouch. You can sense their frustration from here.

  145. 21:23 FULL-TIME England 1-1 USA  

    Worth waiting for? Well, World Cup winners rarely start well, so don't be too upset. Cracking point for USA - but the story tonight is of goalkeeper Robert Green and an absolutely horrific mistake.

  146. 21:25 Commentary  

    Great news England fans - Fabio's boys are top of Group C!

  147. 21:26 Commentary England defender John Terry:  

    "It's just one of those things, it's a shame it happened to Robert. We'll be able to pick him up - we're in this together, we've been away for a long time and hopefully we've got a long time to be together still. Mistakes happen."

  148. 21:28 Commentary  

    USA almost went on a lap of honour at the end in Rustenberg and they can be very proud of their efforts. With games against Algeria and Slovenia to come, have we just seen the two teams set to progress from Group C? Discuss...

  149. Contributor BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty  

    "Fabio Capello will need to look long and hard for the positives there. England simply maintained their recent disappointing form and the reaction of the United States players at the final whistle confirmed the more satisfied team.

    "It is hard to see how Capello can stick with keeper Robert Green after a moment that will have shattered his confidence. The worries about Ledley King's injury have returned and Emile Heskey - for all his honest endeavour - is a blunt instrument in front of goal.

    "Is it too much to ask for Capello to put his two best offensive players, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, closer together as an attacking pair? A poor start for England."

  150. 21:31 Commentary England captain Steven Gerrard:  

    "It was a difficult game and the most important thing was to try and win it, but we've given a poor goal away. It's one of those freak things that happens - plenty of people have been talking about the ball this week. It shocked us a bit, but we'll get behind Robert."

  151. 21:33 Commentary  

    As captain, Steven Gerrard is absolutely right to get behind Robert Green, but talking about the ball... come on, that was just a goalkeeping howler, Jabulani or Shoot 5.

  152. 21:35 Commentary More Steven Gerrard on Rob Green:  

    "I'm sure he'll come back from this, learn from this, and go from strength to strength. He'll play his part further down the line - he might make a save that wins us a game."

  153. SMS  

    From Neal: "Robert Green has just lost me £3300."

  154. 21:39 Commentary  

    A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting to my colleague and friend Honest Frank in the office in London about England's opening game and we surmised that the only possible score tonight was 1-1. If you don't believe me, ask him. I swear.

  155. 21:41 Commentary USA coach Bob Bradley:  

    "It was a great team effort to come back and equalise. At half-time we said we had a chance to win and at the end we took a point."

  156. 21:42 Commentary  

    Fabio Capello chat coming right up. If you think England were rubbish tonight, I might suggest you look away now.

  157. 21:44 Commentary England coach Fabio Capello  

    "Yes, we created a lot of chances to score goals - we pressed a lot, played a good game - they shot once and scored a goal. We are in a good moment as a team and the next game will be better. Only the result is not good."

  158. 21:45 Commentary England coach Fabio Capello  

    "Sometimes one player in front of the keeper misses a goal. Sometimes keepers make mistakes, that's football. I spoke with some players and the ball moves a lot. The second half Robert Green played very well. But the mistake remains a mistake."

  159. 21:46 Commentary England coach Fabio Capello  

    "Everything is positive - only the result is not positive. Steven and Frank played well - all the players played well. We had chances, but we hope the next time it goes in. Probably Ledley King can play next week - it's only a little abductor problem."

  160. 606  

    From Nasris_Special_Touch_10: "England have two more matches to prove themselves - it's not over 'til it's over, so until then, keep your faith in England."

  161. 21:55 Commentary  

    Before I go, promise me one thing? No tearing down England posters or flags, ripping up wallcharts or shoving Panini sticker albums in the bin, OK? Good, I'm glad we've got that sorted. The World Cup is rocking and rolling, and England are slap bang in the mixer. Have a beer, be safe, and sweet dreams.

By Phil McNulty, Rustenburg

Goalkeeper Robert Green suffered a World Cup nightmare as England were forced to settle for a disappointing draw in the opening game of their campaign against the United States.

Steven Gerrard gave coach Fabio Capello the perfect start to this South African mission when he slid Emile Heskey's pass beyond Tim Howard after only four minutes.

And while England rarely hit the heights, they were maintaining their advantage in relative comfort until five minutes before half-time when West Ham United's Green suffered the lapse that will haunt him.

Clint Dempsey offered an effort that was little more than pot luck from 25 yards, but Green hopelessly allowed the ball to squeeze through him and roll agonisingly over the line as he tried to recover.

England had opportunities to repair the damage, but Heskey once again illustrated his limitations in front of goal by shooting straight at Howard with only the keeper to beat.

Wayne Rooney, subdued for the most part, shot just wide, while substitute Shaun Wright-Phillips, on for the under-par Milner after only 30 minutes, saw his angled drive saved by Howard.

Capello will also have enjoyed finer nights in his illustrious career as his major decisions backfired. Green got the nod in goal but must now fear for his place against Algeria, while Milner looked far from fit following a virus after his surprise selection.

And Ledley King, whose fitness was the subject of so much debate when Capello named his squad, lasted only 45 minutes after suffering a groin injury.

It exposed a glaring lack of pace in England's central defence, which was almost punished when Jozy Altidore raced past Jamie Carragher with embarrassing ease only for Green to apply some repairs to his shattered reputation by turning his shot on to the post.

England have plenty of time to regroup and progress, but this was an unsatisfactory night for Capello and his players.

Capello, unconvinced about David James' fitness, chose Green ahead of the inexperienced Joe Hart - on the surface a sensible decision but ultimately a costly one.

England's first-half performance was undistinguished, failing to build on Gerrard's fourth minute goal.

Frank Lampard's pass was out of Rooney's reach, but Heskey played in Gerrard to score with the outside of his right foot.

The United States were allowed the luxury of plenty of possession, and England almost paid for their generosity when Landon Donovan's inviting cross was headed tamely wide by Altidore.

Milner, given his chance despite being laid low by illness in midweek, was off the pace and picked up a booking for fouling Steve Cherundolo before being replaced by Wright-Phillips on the half-hour.

England at least looked like holding their lead until the interval, before a moment of complete calamity engulfed Green. Dempsey's left-foot shot from 25 yards barely merited the label of speculative, but every aspect of Green's technique collapsed as he allowed the ball to squirm through his grasp and over the line.

To add to England's troubles, King failed to emerge after the break, being replaced by Carragher as Capello was forced into another change to his initial plans.

Heskey, having done so well to create Gerrard's goal, then demonstrated his lack of confidence in front of goal when he wasted a clear chance to restore England's lead after 52 minutes. Aaron Lennon put the striker through, but he never looked convincing and shot straight at Howard.

England, however, were not looking comfortable and Altidore illustrated the lack of pace at the back to give them a real scare in the 64th minute. He outpaced Carragher in comfort, but Green made some amends for his earlier mistake by turning his angled shot on to the post.

Rooney had been relatively quiet, but almost surprised Howard with a snapshot from long-range that flew just wide. He then set up Wright-Phillips, but his effort was too close to Howard.

England then ran out of ideas as they tired - leaving Bob Bradley's US side to celebrate a hard-earned point.

England England Flag 1-1 USA Flag USA FT

(HT 1-1)

Gerrard, 4
Dempsey, 40






  • Venue: Royal Bafokeng Stadium
  • Referee: C Simon
  • Attendance: 38,646
England     USA
  • Possession 58%
  • Attempts on target 9
  • Attempts off target 7
  • Corners 8
  • Fouls 8

Projected table based on current scores

Group A

Group A teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 -2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1

Group B

Group B teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 6 9
South Korea 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 -2 1

Group C

Group C teams P W D L F A GD PTS
USA 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 -2 1

Group D

Group D teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 -3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 -1 3

Group E

Group E teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 -3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 -3 0

Group F

Group F teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 -1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group G

Group G teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 7 5
Ivory Coast 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
North Korea 3 0 0 3 1 12 -11 0

Group H

Group H teams P W D L F A GD PTS
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 -3 1

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