With Surprising Draw Against England, USA Controls Its Own World Cup Destiny

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England was a 2-1 favorite to beat the United States in World Cup group stage on Friday afternoon, but the American squad managed to stymie the Brits to a 0-0 draw. Team USA has drawn both of its World Cup matches, giving it two points.

Iran shocked Wales earlier Friday with a 2-0 victory that actually hurt the US chances of advancing to the Knockout stage. England leads the group with four points (win over Iran and the US draw), with Iran sitting in second with three points, the US with two and Wales with one.

That means the United States will need to defeat Iran on Tuesday to advance. A draw or a loss would eliminate the Red, White and Blue, which haven’t been to the Knockout stage of a World Cup since 2014.

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None of the teams in the group have been eliminated as of yet; even Wales could squeak into the next round with a win over England, though that seems unlikely, and some help.

USA Controls Its Own World Cup Destiny

The good news for the US is that they don’t need to worry at all about what happens in that Wales-England matchup. Regardless of result, the US controls its own destiny. Beat Iran, and they’re in. Lose or tie and they’re out.

Christian Pulisic of United States of America reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and USA at Al Bayt Stadium on November 25, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Getty Images)

Should the US beat Iran, all that would be left to determine is where they finish in the group. England can clinch the top spot in the group with a win over Wales. If England draws against Wales, then both teams would have five points in group play. The tiebreaker is goal differential, which right now favors England (who beat Iran 4-2).

The only way the USA can guarantee the top spot in Group B would be a win over Iran and a loss by England versus Wales. There are some tiebreaker scenarios where the US could win and England could draw where the Americans would finish first, but those are highly unlikely.

But the Americans likely couldn’t care less about finishing first or second in Group B. Win and advance. It’s that simple.

The ball is in your pitch, USA.


Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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