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Sports

England held by Algeria in goalless draw

England and Algeria draw 0-0 in their clash at the World Cup in South Africa. In the day's earlier Group C clash, minnows Slovenia drew 2-2 with the USA after a spirited second-half fight back by the Americans.

England's Emile Heskey, left, competes for the ball with Algeria's Riad Boudebouz

Genuine goal chances were few and far between

England drew their second game of the World Cup after 90 minutes of deadlock against Algeria in a clash at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Group C match began with England looking to make an immediate impact against an Algerian team that had underperformed against Slovenia in its first group stage game. However, as the first half wore on, the Algerians found their feet and began pressuring the English goal box.

England came close in the 32nd minute after Aaron Lennon whipped a ball in from the right that fell to Frank Lampard in front of goal, but the Chelsea midfielder saw his shot saved by Algerian keeper Rais M Bolhi's diving effort to the left.

From this point England did well to maintain possession, though Algeria remained a threat on the counterattack.

England's Gareth Barry is tackled by Algeria's Foued Kadir

England's Gareth Barry, being tackled here by Algeria's Foued Kadir, was substituted

There was little change in the second half with England frequently losing possession to a motivated Algeria team. Algeria's Anther Yahia sent a free kick wide one hour into the game.

A chance came for England on 70 minutes, but Emile Heskey's shot was deflected into the upper netting. England coach Fabio Capello then looked to his substitutes’ bench in a bid to make the elusive breakthrough.

Shaun Wright-Phillips replaced Lennon on the wing and Jermain Defoe added some pace when he replaced Emile Heskey, but only briefly. In a final throw of the dice, Peter Crouch came in for holding midfielder Gareth Barry, but to no avail.

England started the match with three changes to the First XI that lined up against the USA on Saturday, injecting defender Jamie Carragher and Barry in place of James Milner and the injured Ledley King.

In line with much speculation, he also opted for the vastly more experienced David James in goal in place of Robert Green, whose howler against the USA was to blame for the team missing out on all three points in that fixture.

Slovenia lets lead slip

Earlier Friday, the USA staged a second-half comeback to draw 2-2 with Slovenia at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on Friday.

The United States' Landon Donovan, left, scores as Slovenia's Marko Suler, right, fails to block him

Donovan's goal for the US came just after the break

Slovenia's first goal came after only 13 minutes after a superb long-range strike by 24-year-old midfielder Walter Birsa, who was allowed too much time by the US defense in the empty space some 25 meters in front of goal.

The left-footed shot sailed over a stationary US keeper Tim Howard, who was standing some way off his goal line, and curved into the back of the net.

Slovenia added their second goal three minutes from the break after Zlatan Ljubijankic was played through into the box with only Howard to beat. The forward slotted home past the onrushing US keeper with ease.

If the USA went into the sheds at halftime looking dejected after falling further behind, they resumed the second half in fine fashion, scoring a goal after only three minutes on the pitch.

Sharp angle, smashed into net

Landon Donovan broke into the penalty area on the right and smashed the ball into the roof of the net from a sharp angle.

Slovenia's Bostjan Cesar, right, faces the United States' Michael Bradley

US player Michael Bradley and Slovenia's Bostjan Cesar were both hungry for success

As the half wore on the US slowly gained the ascendency, creating more chances on goal than the Slovenians, though US fans had to wait more than half an hour for their second goal to come.

The US poured forward in search of an equalizer and eight minutes from time Michael Bradley surged into the Slovenian penalty area to get onto a knock-down from Altidore and put a rising shot into the roof of the net.

Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu appeared to tip the scales in the US' favor in the 86th minute, poking the ball in off a Donovan free kick. The goal, however, was disallowed by Malian referee Koman Coulibaly, though quite why was unclear.

Author: Darren Mara, Richard Connor
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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