England coach Fabio Capello won’t name his goalkeeper until two hours before today’s game with Algeria, leaving Robert Green, whose mistake allowed the U.S.’s goal in a 1-1 opening World Cup match, in limbo.
Capello said the new Adidas soccer ball has caused problems for goalkeepers. Green, whose miscue came on a long shot from Clint Dempsey, had started England’s next-to-last warmup match against Mexico, a 3-1 win at Wembley in London.
“When I chose Green he was in a good moment after the game they played against Mexico,” the coach told reporters yesterday. “I saw some keepers make mistakes: the problem is the ball. The bounce of the ball sometimes is higher. I think the result after the mistake of the keeper was good. I lost some games after one mistake.”
England and the U.S. are tied for second place in Group C, which is led by Slovenia, a 1-0 winner against Algeria in the other group opener. England plays the northern Africans in the last game of the day, which opens with Germany taking on Serbia in Group D. The U.S. meets Slovenia in between.
“Algeria scored a lot of goals,” Capello said. “They are very dangerous when they play free kicks and corners. I saw all the games they played. Not one game was easy. It would be a big mistake to think that this game will be easy.”
England captain Steven Gerrard said he expects to play a more attacking role against Algeria. Gerrard scored England’s goal against the U.S.
Yesterday, Mexico beat France 2-0 in their World Cup Group A match in Polokwane, South Africa. Gonzalo Higuain scored three goals as Argentina beat South Korea 4-1 and Greece rallied to defeat 10-man Nigeria 2-1 in Group B matches.