Wednesday, June 12, 2013
12 June 2010 - Dempsey Has To Get A Little Credit For Taking The Shot, Right?
It was the first match of the tournament in Group C, which also included Algeria and Slovenia. England were heavy favorites, having come through UEFA qualification with ease by winning nine of their ten matches. The United States cut it a little closer, winning six and losing two of their ten games, but were still the top finisher in CONCACAF.
They met at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, where a vuvuzela-fueled crowd of almost 39,000 gathered for the occasion. England quickly took the lead with a 4th-minute goal from captain Steven Gerrard, who received the ball at the top of the penalty area, beat one defender, then slotted it home past keeper Tim Howard.
But their dream start was spoiled just before the break. In the 40th minute, US midfielder Clint Dempsey took a speculative left-footed shot from 25 yards out. England keeper Robert Green was well-placed to stop the low ball and appeared ready to cradle it up into his arms when it slipped by him to his right and rolled over the line. The English press dubbed the howler "the Hand of Clod."
England controlled most of the second half, but could not beat Howard and the game ended as a 1-1 draw. The US and England went on to finish first and second in the group, respectively, after a win and draw in their other two matches, then both were eliminated in the first knockout round.