Despite having handed David James the number one shirt before the squad flew out to South Africa, Capello opted to go with Green from the start, with the experienced Portsmouth keeper having to settle for a place on the bench.
The West Ham United goalkeeper had looked confident in his recent performances in between the sticks for England, but there was nothing assured about his blunder that gifted the USA an equaliser.
Clint Dempsey let fly with a speculative low drive from distance, but with the ball heading straight for Green there appeared to be little cause for concern: the West Ham keeper had even settled into a cricket-style long-barrier pose to minimise room for error, yet he allowed the ball to squirm free of his grasp and into the back of the net.
The freak goal – one which is sure to play on the keeper’s mind for some time – cancelled out Gerrard’s fourth-minute opener,
Robert Green however blamed the official World Cup ball for the gaffe which saw the side held to a draw in their opening match of the World Cup.
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