England played much better against a very dogged Slovenia to score a goal by Jermain Defoe, who was called up to play in this match yesterday and vindicated the call up with a fantastic deft ball into the net after 23 minutes of the game. England had numerous chances to score, and was in possession of the ball most of the time, but just couldn't convert their opportunities to goals. Star player, Wayne Rooney, failed to make an impact. In fact, had one goal disallowed for off-side and had one of his sure fire kicks crashed off the post.
However, despite all the drama, it was a much better England side playing today, looking every inch like champions. It would have been nice to see another goal to cement their position, but one hopes this win will now spur them on to much greater things. Jermain Defoe was named Man of the Match. I guess he can write his own cheques now!!
In the other match USA appeared to have had a tough time against Algeria. We were all despairing in the 87th minute that the USA wouldn't make it (and lose me my prediction!!), despite their valiant tries.Then in the first minute of added time (91 mins) Landon Donovan made no mistake and pushed America in front. There was no chance of Algeria scoring after that and the Yanks were back in the game. He was elected Man of the Match.
Both England and the USA are now through to the next round, with the USA topping the Group. Having hung on in there, let's hope that USA will get far more home support than they've had already, because the next round is where the real excitement begins. It would be nice if some Americans rushed to South Africa to cheer on their team's next game! That should inspire them even more.
It was a lovely sunny day, there was tremendous support for England from the people of Britain and now we are heading for the next exciting round - and my avatar gets to wear the England team shirt a little longer. What could be nicer than that? :o)
Congratulations to both teams!
For comparison of each team's statistics and background
For a blog blow by blow account of the match: MatchCast
Video highlights of all the matches:
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