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Gareth Southgate explains why England could only draw with USA – Free to watch Football League Highlights

England manager Gareth Southgate has admitted that his side lacked ‘zip’ against the USA on Friday, while Gregg Berhalter’s men proved worthy opponents as expected.

The Three Lions could only manage a 0-0 draw in Group B of the World Cup, missing out on the chance to secure qualification to the knockout stages.

Nevertheless, England’s fate remains in their own hands and Southgate chose to remain positive post-match despite the obvious setback.

“[It was] exactly the sort of game I thought it would be. Tough, a good opponent who are very, very athletic,” Southgate told ITV.

“I knew it would be difficult after such a high [against Iran] to replicate that kind of performance so I’m really pleased with how the players applied themselves. Some of our quality in the final third could have been a little bit better, but we’ve shown great resilience against an opponent who kept asking questions and really we’ve controlled the game well from the back, but weren’t able to open it up with a clear cut chance.

When asked about what was missing, Southgate responded: “I think a little bit of zip, we didn’t quite have that same zip. But that’s gonna happen, this is tournament football, we’re not going to roll through a tournament. You have to show different qualities to get a result.

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“[Wales] will be a totally different game. Today we played a game against a team that made it really difficult. I’m so pleased with the way we built from the back because they make it really difficult to build. We’ve had problems with that in the past and our two centre-backs [Harry Maguire and John Stones] were absolutely outstanding.

“They controlled the game, I don’t think people appreciate how good they are. They both defended the box brilliantly.”

When asked if this was a point gained rather than a missed opportunity, Southgate replied: “Yeah, for me. Silver medal today was a point because it puts us in a good place in terms of qualification. If we can win our last game then we win the group. the objective is to get out of the group in three games, we’ve done it in two games in our last two tournaments. It’s very unrealistic to expect that every time.”

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