England’s 5 dullest bore draws at major tournaments

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Football News

While Roy Hodgson kept himself suitably entertained during England’s Group B decider at Euro 2016 by ringing the changes, for most the 0-0 stalemate with Slovakia was not one of the Three Lions’ finest hours.

Mind you, England have always be rather partial to a dull draw at a major tournament with plenty of examples from World Cups and European Championships over the years.

But which ranks as England’s dullest ever draw at a major tournament? Here are the top five.


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5. England v Nigeria – World Cup 2002

While many pundits dubbed it the 'best goalless draw you will ever see' because it allowed England to progress to the knockout round of the World Cup in Japan and South Korea, those who watched the game recognised it for the stinker it was.

With England creating little in the way of chances, save for an Ashley Cole cross that hit the bar, the Three Lions missed the opportunity to finish top of their group, putting them on course to meet Brazil in the quarter finals. Oh dear...

4. England v Morocco – World Cup 1986

England were under pressure after losing their opener to Portugal 1-0 but found no relief against a Morocco side that came into the match off the back of a 0-0 draw with Poland. What followed was a bore draw that featured a couple of major setbacks for the Three Lions.

First captain Bryan Robson had to be taken off with a tournament-ending injury then, to make matters worse, Ray Wilkins was sent off in what proved to be his final tournament appearance for England. Morocco became the first African side to reach the knockout phase. England eventually went on to play Argentina in the quarter finals where things ended badly yet again.

3. England v Denmark – Euro 1992

Having only reached the European Championship as a result of Yugoslavia’s withdrawal from the tournament, England fans must have been hoping for an easy ride from their opening fixture against Denmark. However, it proved to be anything but.

The presence of Peter Schmeichel in the Danish goal mattered little, with the underdogs dominating Graham Taylor’s England side from start to finish and unlucky not to claim the victory. Another 0-0 draw with France followed before Sweden put England out of their misery.

2. England v Costa Rica – World Cup 2014

The most depressing England game in recent memory, Roy Hodgson’s team were already out of the tournament by the time they faced Costa Rica, who were supposed to be the weakest side in a so-called Group of Death that also contained Italy and Uruguay.

Costa Rica had other ideas though and, knowing a draw would see them go through as group winners, sucked the life out of a contest that rarely had any. Ross Barkley and a few other English youngsters showed promise but for many it was simply too much to bear.

1. England v Algeria – World Cup 2010

The unquestionable pick of the bunch came back in 2010 when an England team already deflated by a 1-1 draw with USA that came via a Robert Green goalkeeping howler sank to new lows against an Algeria side that was a far cry from the team that would thrill four years later.

With few in the way of chances or memorable highlights, the game is perhaps best remembered for Wayne Rooney’s decision to hit out at England’s fans for booing Fabio Capello’s team as the camera followed him around the pitch at the final whistle. Painful to watch.

Where does England's Slovakia stalemate rank among these games? Have your say in the comment box below.

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Wayne Rooney
Euro 2016
England Football
World Cup
David Beckham

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