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US seeks repeat of 1950 upset

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The primary time the US confronted England on the World Cup, the rapidly assembled American squad was a ragtag group that included a mailman, a grave digger, a dishwasher and a college instructor.

Few of the gamers had ever met earlier than they headed to Brazil in 1950 to face powerhouse England, and the 1-0 upset victory by the US is usually likened to the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” win over the Soviet Union on the Lake Placid Olympics as being among the many greatest moments in American sports activities historical past.

The disparity between the 2 nationwide soccer groups is not practically as broad 72 years later as England and the US get set to play Friday in Group B. The truth is, United States midfielder Tyler Adams stated he is extra terrified of spiders than he’s of dealing with England.

The Individuals are the underdogs following their 1-1 draw with Wales, whereas England is coming off a 6-2 opening win over Iran.

“England are nonetheless a giant crew on the finish of the day, however the intimidation issue? I would not say there’s many issues on the market that intimidate me, apart from spiders,” stated Adams, who performs for Premier League membership Leeds.

“It is superb for me, however clearly I’ve bought to play towards all these massive gamers, so I’ve completed it earlier than. However we additionally need to present what we’re able to and that US soccer is growing and rising in the suitable manner.”

However that 1950 victory for the Individuals was a uncommon win towards England, which has received eight of its 11 conferences towards the US. The upside? None of these victories have been World Cup matches and the second assembly between the groups on soccer’s greatest stage led to a 1-1 attract 2010.

United States midfielder Christian Pulisic does not need to hear about stats, rankings or predictions. The Individuals did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup and, following the opening draw, are tied with Wales with one level every within the struggle to advance to the knockout stage.

England leads the group with three factors. A win or draw on Friday would put the Individuals in first rate place to be one of many two groups to advance.

“We do not take a look at the percentages and we’re not on the World Cup simply to make up the numbers,” Pulisic stated. “We go, we give it every thing in each sport we play, we make America proud. Wherever that takes us we now have to attend and see.”

INJURY CONCERNS

A win for England would put the Three Lions into the spherical of the 16 with one sport nonetheless to play, however coach Gareth Southgate has cautioned towards complacency after the opening route of Iran.

England captain Harry Kane, the highest scorer on the 2018 World Cup, injured his ankle towards Iran and defender Harry Maguire left the sport within the seventieth minute with blurred imaginative and prescient. Kane educated with the crew in current days and is predicted to play Friday, whereas Maguire indicated he’ll play in what shall be his fiftieth look for the nationwide crew.

Southgate instructed his crew it must be even higher towards the US than it was towards Iran, and he thought the 2 late objectives conceded proved England bought sloppy on the finish of that sport.

“They seem to be a prime nation with a variety of prime gamers who’ve performed within the Premier League and who we have come up towards,” England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford stated. “Nevertheless it’s about us as a squad being 100%. It is about us taking the end result from Iran and going into the US sport constructive.”

BACK ON THE FIELD

Qatar returns to competitors after changing into the primary host nation in World Cup historical past to drop its first match, a 1-0 loss to Ecuador on the opening evening of the event.

Qatar will get one other probability for a victory towards Senegal, which additionally misplaced its opener.

“There may be a variety of room for enchancment. Possibly the accountability and nerves bought one of the best of us,” Qatar coach Felix Sanchez stated. “We did not begin properly. It was a horrible begin.”

Senegal is with out Sadio Mane, the Bayern Munich ahead who was dominated out of the event with a leg damage. Midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate can also be anticipated to overlook Friday’s sport with a hamstring damage.

With out Mane on the World Cup, Senegal misplaced to the Netherlands 2-0 and coach Aliou Cissé is demanding extra from forwards Ismaila Sarr and Krépin Diatta.

“We would have liked to be simpler. Ismaila and Krepin are accountable there, however in fact, the absence of Mane is an issue for us,” Cisse stated. “Our attackers are good and we all know what they’re able to. We have to work on it, with Ismaila and the others. We count on rather a lot from him and Krepin.”

WALES-IRAN

Gareth Bale scored a late aim from a penalty kick to assist Wales draw with the US in its opening match and was thrilled to be given the starring position in his World Cup debut.

The 33-year-old Bale, who performs for the Los Angeles Galaxy within the MLS, had zero hesitation when referred to as on to take the penalty.

“It was at all times going to be me. No doubts,” Bale stated. “I really feel like I needed to step up and I used to be joyful to take action.”

The Asian crew shall be lacking goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand, who’s out with an damage. He was cleared to proceed by Iran’s medical workers after a collision with a teammate within the opening sport however later collapsed on the sector and was taken to a neighborhood hospital. Hossein Hosseini, the backup, must be examined by Bale.

Iran, which certified for the final two World Cups, has by no means ever superior to the knockout spherical.

NETHERLANDS-ECUADOR

Ecuador and the Netherlands each received their opening matches and their sport Friday will pit striker Enner Valencia towards ahead Memphis Depay.

Valencia scored each of Ecuador’s objectives within the 2-0 win over Qatar earlier than leaving with a sore knee however is about to play Friday.

“Enner will play towards the Netherlands, there isn’t a doubt about that,” Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro stated.

Depay returned from a hamstring damage to guide the Netherlands in its 2-0 win over Senegal. He got here off the bench in that sport however desires to begin towards Ecuador.

“He’s a participant who could make the distinction,” Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal stated. “He’ll need to play, however I’ve to evaluate his type of him.”

A win for both crew would probably assure development out of Group A. ___

AP World Cup protection: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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