Tim Weah is about to attain possession of the ball. (Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

No two draws are ever equal.

The U.S. men’s national team proved that in its opening two matches in the World Cup.

To many observers, the Americans played to a disappointing 1-1 tie with Wales as they lost momentum in the second half in their Group B opener on Monday.

In contrast, the USA did not score any goals in a scoreless deadlock with England on Friday, but put on a much better display in both halves at Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar on Friday.

The U.S. has never lost to England at a World Cup as its record is 1-0-2, including the 1-0 shocker at the 1950 World Cup. The result also was the first shutout for the USMNT against a European team at the World Cup since that historic upset.

Many observers felt that the USMNT could not go toe-to-toe with England, but the Americans proved otherwise, outplaying their foes from across the Atlantic Ocean.

The result kept the USMNT in contention to reach the knockout out. The Americans must defeat Iran in its final group stage match on Tuesday to clinch a spot. If the U.S. wins, it wouldn’t matter if fourth-place Wales (0-1-1, 1) won against  group leader England (1-0-1, 4 points). Third-place U.S. remained unbeaten at 0-0-2 and two points. Iran (1-1-0, 3), which defeated Wales (0-1-1, 1) earlier in the day, is in second place.

While he was called on to make only two saves, goalkeeper Matt Turner controlled the box and caught or knocked away everything that came his way.

The match was not without its late drama as Harry Kane headed a free kick off target deep into stoppage time.

England enjoyed the early possession as it probed the American defense for holes.

Kane attempted a shot that center back Walker Zimmerman blocked for a corner kick in the 10th minute.

Slowly, but surely, the USA found its rhythm and got back into the game. Attacking from the right flank, Sergino Dest sent in a cross that was caught by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the 20th minute.

In the 29th minute, Yunus Musah put the first American shot on goal that Pickford saved.

Christian Pulisic had two close encounters, hitting the bar in the 33rd minute and on an attempted header, he put one wide left off his shoulder 10 minutes later.

The most dangerous England opportunity came a minute into first-half stoppage time when Turner dove to his right to produce a two-handed save on Mason Mount that he knocked out of bounds for a corner kick.

Not only did the Americans hold their own in the second half, but they also increased their pressure on the England, forcing their foes to concede several corner kicks, mostly on blocked shots. The USA did not score on any of them, but their constant pressure forced the English to defend way too much.

In the 83rd minute, Gio Reyna came on for Tim Weah, making his first World Cup appearance. That made the Reynas the first father-son combo in American World Cup history. Claudio Reyna, who played in three World Cups, captained the USA in the 2002 and 2006 competitions.