World Cup 2010, United States 1-1 England: Clint Dempsey's Goal Gives U.S. Surprise Point

The United States got an unexpected point against England in Rustenberg, South Africa on Saturday, with first half goals from Steven Gerrard and Clint Dempsey leading to a 1-1 draw.

The headlines will focus on Dempsey's 40th minute tally, with England goalkeeper Robert Green's attempts to save the attacker's shot bound to spawn comparisons to recent gaffs by Scott Carson and Paul Robinson.

Robinson's misfortune handling a back pass against Croatia in 2006 remains in English minds, while Scott Carson's soft goal allowed against Croatia to end England's Euro 2008 qualifying marks another recent goalkeeping gaff for the English national team.

Robert Green's mistake tops both those incidents. 

Dempsey put a left-footed shot along the ground from 22 yards out, straight to Green in the middle of goal.  Green kneeled on one knee to collect the ball but let the shot go off his gloves and into the net, giving the United States an equalizing goal.

England had gone up in the fourth minute when Steven Gerrard beat Tim Howard from near the spot, flicking a pass from Emile Heskey under the uncoming `keeper for the opener.  The England captain ran through space vacated by Oguchi Onyewu, who had come off his line to meet Wayne Rooney, with Ricardo Clark trailing Gerrard.

The match went in to half time tied 1-1, by which time Fabio Capello had subbed-off James Milner for Shaun Wright-Phillips.  Coming out of intermission he used his second substitute, with Jamie Carrager replacing Ledley King at right-center half.

That substitute helped create the best opportunity of the half, falling to the United States when forward Jozy Altidore ran past Jamie Carragher and nearly beat Green to his near post.  The West Ham `keeper got enough of his right hand on the ball to turn it onto the post, keeping the score at tied at one.

Minutes earlier, Emile Heskey had his chance to put England ahead, put through on goal by Aaron Lennon.  Tim Howard came out to meet the striker, who pulled-up from 20 yards only to fire his shot directly into Howard's chest.

It was one of a number of highlights for Tim Howard, who was the United States' man of the match.  Steve Cherundolo and Jay DeMerit also gave strong performances for the national team.

For England, the stories will center on the players who failed to perform to expectations.  Robert Green will be focused upon, but Wayne Rooney failed to make his expected impact.  James Milner earned his substitution, and Aaron Lennon, multiple times, failed to produce a quality final ball that could have led to a winning score.

Both England and the United States sit with one point in Group C, with Algeria and Slovenia to play tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. Eastern.

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