Hundreds of USA, England fans fill downtown Minneapolis for World Cup draw
MINNEAPOLIS -– Hundreds of soccer fans left Brits Pub in Minneapolis without the joy of victory or the pain of defeat Friday afternoon.
Neither team could muster a goal during the World Cup matchup between the two nations.
"I feel like we definitely could have put one away," said Ben Nisbet, who attended Friday's watch party at Brit's Pub in downtown Minneapolis. "I'm disappointed that we didn't – but we played good defense and that's what matters – Nil-Nil is better than a defeat."
Friday's draw means the United States could guarantee an appearance in the Round of 16 with a win over Iran Tuesday.
"We've got a lot of young guys that hadn't been to a World Cup," said Jake Raska of Minneapolis ahead of Friday's match. "It's really their time to shine. We've got a lot of guys playing in Europe right now. We've got a lot of talent and a lot of potential."
The demand to attend Friday's match at the UK-based pub was so high, owners opted to sell tickets for entry – which quickly sold out. 40-degree temperatures and sunshine inspired more than 100 people to sit outside.
"A lot of people were asking to guarantee admission," said Brit's Pub general manager Shane Higgins. "It seemed a great idea trying to get as many regulars as possible, sell tickets guarantees admission and obviously hope for more people as well on top of the regulars."
Higgins said the pub had planned for Friday since learning U.S.A. and England would be in the same group for the tournament's group play phase.
"It's not ideal, because you want those two teams to keep apart for business reasons," Higgins said. "They both bring a great crowd, so in an ideal world, you'd have them keep apart then meet in the final – in an ideal world. But it is what it is, and when England play U.S.A., it's going to be a great business day."
The United States plays Iran in the next World Cup matchup on Tuesday at 1 p.m.