World Cup

Dempsey: England struggled under pressure

TEAMtalk Media Group, TEAMtalk Media Group
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United States striker Clint Dempsey believes England's players struggled to deal with the pressure in Saturday's 1-1 draw in Rustenburg.

England got their World Cup campaign off to a flyer when captain Steven Gerrard gave them the lead inside four minutes, but the USA hit back through Dempsey, helped by Robert Green's mistake, to snatch a draw.

And the Fulham forward admits he is somewhat baffled as to how top Premier League players failed to perform.

"Honestly it seemed during the game that they were dealing with a lot of pressure," Dempsey told The Sun.

"I don't know why that is, you could just sense it a little bit. Even though they did score early, when we came back and we equalised, they just seemed edgy. They really did.

"You wouldn't think that would be the case for some of the best players in the world being on teams of the quality of Chelsea or Liverpool, winning the Champions League or the title. You would think these players would be full of confidence.

"There just seemed to be an edge to the team but it could have just been the opening game.

"You would have to ask them if it affected their performance.

"But they were edgy, there was an edginess to their game but I think they're a team with quality and they should play with confidence."

Green gifted Dempsey the equaliser and the delighted 27-year-old admits he has little sympathy for the England goalkeeper.

He added: "It's probably a save the keeper should have made. I didn't expect it to go in.

"When you hit it, you're kinda like 'Mmmm does it have a chance?' and then you see the keeper mishandle it and you're excited."

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