England 0-0 USA: All-action McKennie, retreating Kane and how USMNT dominated right side


England were outplayed by the United States men’s national team in the second group game in Qatar, as Gregg Berhalter’s side earned a deserved 0-0 draw. Gareth Southgate named an unchanged team following the impressive 6-2 win against Iran in their opening game. The U.S., meanwhile, had drawn 1-1 with Wales in their first game, because of a late penalty by Gareth Bale. Weston McKennie impressed in midfield for the U.S., causing all sorts of problems down the right, and Christian Pulisic came closest to a breakthrough when his shot hit the crossbar in the first half. …”
The Athletic
Guardian: Edgy England on verge of World Cup last 16 after fortunate draw with USA
The Athletic: USA vs England and the path towards respect and rivalry
***NY Times: England Gets a Look at Itself, and Isn’t Sure It Likes What It Sees

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What else Qatar has built with its absurd wealth besides the 2022 World Cup

“Qatar is a player. In the Middle East and across the world, the petrostate of fewer than 3 million people plays an outsized role in geopolitics, media, and art. Its cultural diplomacy has established the country’s influence — and now it’s doing the same with sport. The country’s absurd wealth is on display this month: It spent about $300 billion on stadiums and groundwork to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which kicked off Sunday. That money totaled more than all previous World Cups and Olympics combined. …”
Vox

Enner Valencia strikes again to earn Ecuador draw with Netherlands


Ecuador’s Enner Valencia scores their first goal
“Ecuador were far happier with this draw because after conceding early Gustavo Alfaro’s team played front-foot football that went close to administering a fatal blow to the Netherlands. They did not but the result means that Qatar are eliminated from their own World Cup and become the first nation out at the group stage, while Ecuador and the Netherlands each have four points and Senegal three. As Louis van Gaal’s side face the pointless hosts in their final match, the meeting of Ecuador and Senegal appears a straight shootout to see who progresses to the last 16. …”
Guardian
Aljazeera: Can Netherlands exceed restrained expectations at World Cup 2022?

Iran’s Football Team Has Already Won

“Iran’s national football team, known affectionately as Team Melli, kicked off its World Cup on Monday in dispiriting fashion. The side, which came into the tournament the highest-ranked team from Asia, lost a one-sided match to England, 6-2. There is time to make amends. On Friday, Team Melli plays Wales — a potentially winnable match for the Iranians — before taking on the United States in a tantalizing fixture next week. For Iranian football fans, myself included, World Cup games are ordinarily the pinnacle of sporting excitement. This year, in Qatar, things are different. …”
NY Times