We lacked zip, admits Gareth Southgate
England coach Gareth Southgate acknowledged his side had failed to repeat their early World Cup attacking fluency in their 0-0 draw with the United States, but said success in major tournaments often required such gritty performances.
England opened their campaign in Qatar with an adventurous 6-2 win over Iran on Monday, raising hopes that they were finally finding their scoring form again just in time for the World Cup.
But the boos that rang out around the Al Bayt Stadium at the end of their largely drab draw with the United States on Friday suggested those expectations might prove premature.
“Yes, we lacked a little bit of zip and quality in the final third and we weren’t able to open up, to create really good chances,” Southgate told reporters.
“But we had to show another side of ourselves.”
He said his players stood up to a deluge of corners and set-pieces by a US side that grew in confidence and came closest to winning the contest when Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic smacked a shot against the crossbar in the first half.
“To be a successful team at a tournament, you have to show those different faces and we did that tonight,” Southgate said.
Southgate offered most praise to his central defenders Harry Maguire and John Stones.
“Personally, I am really pleased with the application of the players,” he said.
“To come off the high of the performance of the other day and find that same energy and level of quality was always going to be a challenge.”
Calcutta: Hugo Boumous scored the winner as ATK Mohun Bagan defeated Hyderabad FC by a solitary goal in Saturday’s ISL clash at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Playing a one-two with Ashique Kuruniyan, Boumous evaded the markers and eased the ball into the net, which went on to separate the two sides.
Bagan are now fourth in the standings with 13 points from seven matches, while Hyderabad FC remain second (16 points from eight matches).