Of course, the England-U.S. game in South Africa couldn't live up to the hype, but when the whistle blew the end in a 1-1 tie, U.S. fans had to be pleased. Meeting England in the World Cup for the first time in 60 years, the underdog U.S. was under less pressure than its highly-regarded opponent. Expectations are high in Britain and a 1-1 tie was not what fans expected from such such a stellar lineup.
But the tie gives the U.S. hope of surviving the first round and playing deep into June. New Jerseyan Tim Howard was the player of the game as he saved numerous pointblank shots from the English team. It was quite a comeback after the U.S. fell behind 1-0 in less than four minutes when Steven Gerrard smoked Howard for what promised to be a long day.
For a while it seemed it could have been a shooting gallery for the Brits, but Team USA held together and finally worked back into the match. The U.S. went to the locker room down 0-1 but came back late in the first half when English goalkeeper Robert Green let a soft from Clint Dempsey trickle through his fingers. The U.S. had numerous chances to score again in the second half, including a blast by first-time Worldcupper Jozie Altidore.
Sixty years ago, the U.S. beat England 1-0 in a World Cup played in Latin America. It was such a huge upset that British papers thought the score over the wire was a typo and listed the game as an English win, 10-1. In that game, the winning goal was scored by Joe Gaetjens, a Haitian immigrant. There was the thought that there would be some poetic justice if the son of Haitian immigrtants, Altidore, could score against England. It didn't happen, but he scared them enough. Who knows if there will be a rematch later.
The Story of Gaejens is here.
A roundup of the game is here.