England and the U.S. each tied in World Cup Group C games yesterday while Serbia upset 10-man Germany 1-0 in Group D.
England was held to a 0-0 tie by Algeria and the U.S. rallied in the second half to draw 2-2 with Slovenia. The results leave all four teams with a chance to finish as one of the top two in the group to advance to the next round.
“We are very lucky because we have another big chance to go forward,” England manager Fabio Capello said in a news conference in Cape Town. “This isn’t the England team I know. These players during training are different.”
Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley scored as the U.S. erased a 2-0 halftime deficit in Johannesburg. The Americans also had a goal from Maurice Edu disallowed in the 86th minute.
“Our immediate goal was to win, but we started (playing) not to lose,” U.S. coach Bob Bradley told reporters. “The tie keeps us alive and that’s the important thing.”
Serbia’s Milan Jovanovic scored the only goal moments after Germany’s Miroslav Klose was red-carded in Port Elizabeth. Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic also stopped a penalty kick from Lukas Podolski.
England managed to put just six of its 15 shots on target at its attack continued to struggle. It’s scored just one goal in its first two games in South Africa.
“We’re not happy with the performance,” captain Steven Gerrard said in a televised interview. “If we want to stay in this tournament to the later stage we have to improve.”
Both teams made changes after goalkeeping errors led to scores in their opening games. David James replaced Robert Green in the England goal and Rais Bolhi took over for Faouzi Chaouchi for Algeria.
England’s Frank Lampard had the best scoring chance in the first half with a low shot that Bolhi went down to stop. Lampard then missed wide with a shot in the 88th minute and drew boos from the England fans at Green Point Stadium.
“I was expecting better,” Algeria manager Rabah Saadane told reporters. “I don’t know what happened. The England team wasn’t up to its best level today.”
England complained to FIFA, the sports governing body, after a fan entered its dressing room after the match, the U.K.’s Press Association reported.
Bradley’s goal with eight minutes left capped the U.S. rally. Donovan scored in the 48th minute to pull the U.S. within 2-1 after Valter Birsa and Zlatan Ljubijankic scored first-half goals for Slovenia.
Edu appeared to have given the Americans the lead in the 86th minute, but the goal was disallowed by referee Koman Coulibaly of Mali as players were grappling in the area.
“I’m assuming it was a foul somewhere because obviously it couldn’t have been offside,” Donovan told reporters. “I don’t know what to think of the call because I didn’t see a foul anywhere.”
Slovenia leads Group C with four points, the U.S. and England each have two and Algeria has one. England plays Slovenia and the U.S. meets Algeria in the final group games on June 23.
“I hope on Wednesday to see the England team,” said Capello, who celebrated his 64th birthday yesterday.
Serbia handed Germany its first defeat in a World Cup group game since 1986. The Germans are tied with Serbia and Ghana at three points and lead Group D because of a superior goal difference. Ghana plays Australia later today.
Klose was ejected after receiving his second yellow card in the 37th minute for tripping Serbia captain Dejan Stankovic. Jovanovic gave his team the lead a minute later with a shot from eight yards out.
Stojkovic then preserved the lead by diving to his left to save Podolski’s penalty kick in the 60th minute after a handball call against Nemanja Vidic.
“It was a very important game for us,” Stojkovic told reporters. “Everybody believed in this win.”