England rule the USA
Written By: Robert Halter
Wayne Rooney received a guard of honour and a special presentation from FA Chairman Greg Clarke and the Three Lions captain, Harry Kane prior to the Wayne Rooney Foundation International with England and the USA at Wembley Stadium in mid November. On two minutes from a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner, a goal bound header from Dele Alli, was tipped onto the crossbar from USA shot stopper, Brad Guzan, but the linesman flag was raised to indicate the ball had gone out of play. In the ninth minute, Guzan gave the ball away to Jesse Lingard on the right, whose ball across was fired past the left side of the target by Callum Wilson. USA then escaped a penalty appeal, as Lingard’s through ball fell to Wilson, who was challenged by Guzan in the area, and was brought down. In the thirteenth minute, an incisive pass by Alexander-Arnold, freed space for Lingard on the right side of the box, but Guzan parried his strike away. On twenty four minutes, Weston McKennie allowed Chritsian Pulisic to wriggle his way through and it took a point blank stop from Jordan Pickford, to prevent a goal, and the USA were made to pay as within a minute, Alexander-Arnold enabled Alli to put the ball over, which provided a launch pad for Lingard, who bent the ball into the top right corner from long distance. The Three Lions doubled their advantage in the twenty seventh minute, when Jadon Sancho produced a sublime touch to Alexander-Arnold, who drilled the ball into the bottom left corner. On thirty seven minutes, Fabian Delph lost out on a crunching tackle by Wil Trapp, and it cleared the way for Julian Green, whose rising effort, was pushed out by Pickford. Two minutes later, Ben Chilwell found Wilson in space, but his low shot was held onto by Guzan. In the forty third minute, Green and Timothy Weah combined before Pulisic, dragged his shot wide of the target. Before the second half resumed, Alex McCarthy took over from Pickford in goal. On forty eight minutes, from a looping delivery by Alexander-Arnold, the ball bobbled past Wilson and then Matthew Miazga, who obstructed Lingard, who nudged his effort out of play and over to the left. In the fifty third minute, Sancho created space for Alexander-Arnold, whose cross shot drifted over the upright. A triple England change was made as Jordan Henderson appeared for Alli, Eric Dier took over from Chilwell and Rooney appeared for Lingard. The USA later brought on Tyler Adams for Green. On sixty six minutes, from a Pulisic cross on the right, a cushioned header by Bobby Wood, rose narrowly over the crossbar. A pitch invader evaded the field of play and hugged Rooney, before Harry Winks was replaced with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, while the USA took off Trapp for Kellyn Acosta. On the seventy one minutes, first Loftus-Cheek and then Sancho set up Rooney, whose shot was comfortably caught by Guzan,. In the seventy fifth minute, a low delivery by Alexander-Arnold was flashed wide of the left post from Wilson. USA then changed Weah with Kenneth Saief and McKennie with Sebastian Lletget. But The Three Lions roared further ahead in the seventy seventh minute, when a pin point accurate delivery from Delph, was connected to with a low half volley by Wilson, into the bottom left side of the net. Wilson then made way for Marcus Rashford. A perfect cross by Rooney then picked out Alexander-Arnold, who miss fired past the face of the goal. Another USA switch saw Jorge Villafana removed for Shaquell Moore. In stoppage time, Sancho and then Henderson paved the way for a fairytale finish for Rooney, but his strike was saved by Guzan. In the next move, Rooney turned provider for Sancho, who blazed over. At then end, a Sancho cross went too far past Rooney, who could not complete his hundred and twentieth cap with a goal to add to his tally of fifty three previously scored for his country as England recorded their eighth triumph over the USA in what was the eleventh encounter between both nations with the Stars and Stripes victorious twice.