A dour stalemate ensued as England were held to a goalless draw by the United States of America in their second game of Group B on Friday.
Marcus Rashford was introduced late in the second-half as Southgate hoped for more of the same from the winger but he hardly got too many touches of the ball.
The Three Lions were highly fancied heading into the contest, especially after their Iran heroics but a relentless USA side hardly allowed them to create any chances.
The Americans were by far the better team and it required a solid rearguard action from the England defenders to ensure the opposition did not sneak in a goal.
If any player could come out of the contest with their head held high, it was both United defenders Maguire and Shaw.
Luke Shaw’s game by numbers vs. USA:
85% pass accuracy
6/7 long balls completed
2 key passes
1 big chance created
1 dribble completed
Looked to find the creative spark for England. ✨ pic.twitter.com/diptE18rKN
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 25, 2022
The left-back did not overlap as frequently as he normally does but his crossing and set-piece delivery helped create the best chances for Gareth Southgate’s side.
He had 91 touches of the ball, and finished the game with an impressive passing accuracy rate of 85%. The 27-year-old also made two key passes and completed six long balls.
England’s creative spark
He created one huge opportunity which came in added time and also completed one dribble as he seemed to be the creative spark of the side.
Shaw’s added-time free-kick was probably England’s best chance to nick it as the ball fell perfectly on the head of skipper Harry Kane but he failed to hit the target.
Defensively, he was solid and showed his recovery pace time and time again. The full-back made one crucial tackle as well as one interception and dovetailed nicely with club skipper Maguire on the left of the defence.
While the result will not be too pleasing for English fans, a clean-sheet against such a spirited US side will please Southgate and he will be hoping to get his attacking players firing ahead of their next game.