After a frustrating 1-1 draw against Wales, this World Cup is not about to get any easier for the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT).
A promising first-half performance and a well-scored goal from Timothy Weah was undone by Gareth Bale’s late penalty on Monday as the young USMNT side were denied victory at the start of their campaign in Qatar .
Next up are England, the favorites from Group B after beating Iran 6-2 earlier this week – a ominous sign for Wales and the USMNT in their bid to advance to the knockout stages of final.
But win or draw against England and USA manager Gregg Berhalter will know that a place in the next round could be within reach for his side with a game against Iran to come.
This will be the biggest test the USMNT’s so-called “golden generation” has faced under Berhalter and potentially a defining game for a team that has struggled for form throughout the qualifying rounds.
“We know how good England are going to be. But again, we think we’re fighting well against them,” USA captain Tyler Adams said earlier this week, according to ESPN.
“We have a sports team. We think that against the ball we are sometimes very dominant. Did you see that [against Wales] with our back pressure and how we are able to create a lot of transitional moments.
Friday’s game will be played at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor town and kicks off at 2 p.m. ET.
We must go back to 2002 for the last time the USMNT beat a European opponent at the World Cup, although they did get a 1-1 draw against England in the 2010 edition of the tournament. in South Africa.
Otherwise, the results tended to go in favor of England, winning eight of the teams’ 11 encounters, and another win would guarantee the 1996 World Cup winner’s progress to the knockout stages.
The good news for manager Gareth Southgate is that captain Harry Kane is fit to play after suffering an ankle scan earlier this week, while Berhalter could look to 20-year-old Giovanni Reyna to refine the attack. his team.
Reyna was an unused substitute against Wales and said his fitness was “really good” after being dogged by injuries in recent months.
Wales and Iran play the other Group B game on Friday when they meet at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
Despite being next in line in the FIFA rankings, Rob Page’s Wales side will be confident of victory after England revealed Iran’s defensive frailties on Monday. For both teams, it looks like a game to win to qualify for the knockout stages.
Host country Qatar are also back in action on Friday against Senegal, two nations who both suffered defeats in their opening matches. Qatar were beaten 2-0 by Ecuador and Senegal lost by the same score against the Netherlands.
These two winning teams will be looking to make it two out of two wins when they meet at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Wales vs Iran – 5am EST
Qatar vs Senegal – 8 a.m. ET
Netherlands vs Ecuador – 11 a.m. ET
England vs USA – 2pm ET
United States: Fox Sports
UK: BBC or ITV
Germany: ARD, ZDF, Deutsche Telekom
Canada: Bell Media
South Africa: SABC