England needed to win by two goals last night to ensure they won Group C, but an injury time goal by the USA against Algeria, from Landon Donovan, has put the US on a much easier path forward than England.
England players celebrate after victory against Slovenia
If England had won their group they would have played Ghana and then the winner of Uruguay vs South Korea – so a way through to the semi-finals would have been fairly easy – at least on paper.
But having only finished runner-up, England must now play Germany on Saturday evening, and if they get through that tie they will face the winners of Argentina vs Mexico in the quarter-finals – a potential repeat of the 1986 and 1990 World Cup quarter finals with Argentina – both of which we lost.
So you see what we mean.
But of course given England’s position before yesterday’s games, we should be pleased enough just to still be in the tournament – that’s also true.
And if England are to win this thing, they have to be able to beat any team that’s put in front of them, and if England can play anywhere near their best form, then there is no reason they cannot beat both Germany and Argentina in successive game – but it will not be easy.
And we shouldn’t get too carried away with the England performance against Slovenia – it was certainly the best performance of the last 4 games to be sure – but Wayne Rooney still looks a shadow of himself , and we were surprised to see Emile Heskey brought on again near the end as a sub – what has Peter Crouch done wrong?
He must have BO or something, because surely he is more of a goal threat than Emile, and England will need to find goals from somewhere, if we are to beat Germany and Argentina (or Mexico) in the next two rounds.