England laboured to a 0-0 draw against USA to miss the chance to qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup with a game to spare.
Having kicked off their campaign with an impressive 6-2 win over Iran, the Three Lions were booed by their fans inside the Al Bayt Stadium following Friday’s second Group B fixture as they were well below their best.
England have now failed to beat the Americans in all three of their meetings at a World Cup finals.
And in truth, they were lucky to have come away from their latest encounter with a point after being largely outclassed by Gregg Berhalter’s side.
Progress remains in England’s hands, as only a defeat to Wales by four goals or more in their final group game on Tuesday would deny them a place in the last 16.
But this match will be a wake-up call for one of the pre-tournament favourites and raise questions over Gareth Southgate’s management, given the way tepid way in which England played and his surprise selection choices – with Phil Foden not even making it off the bench.
Harry Kane had spurned the first chance of the game early on after being found by Bukayo Sako, but his deflected effort trickled just wide.
But from then on it was all USA, with Timothy Weah seeing his header flash wide of the post.
Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie then smashed a half-volley over the bar after getting on the end of Sergino Dest’s cross.
And just before the break, Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic crashed a left-footed against the crossbar.
The second half saw fewer chances, with Harry Maguire having to dig England out with a few huge headed clearances.
England pushed for an unlikely late winner, and their best chance came when Kane got on the end of Luke Shaw’s free-kick.
But his free header in the final moments of the match was well wide, and replays showed that the Tottenham striker should have scored.
A win would have seen England qualify, but they must now wait until the final match to determine their fate.
England now know that a draw against Wales on Tuesday will see them safely into the last-16, with a win to confirm them as group winners.
However, they will crash out of the World Cup should Wales claimed a highly unlikely win by a four-goal margin after the Dragons lost 2-0 to Iran earlier on Friday.