x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Ghana held but still top the group as England exit

England ended their disappointing World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Uzbekistan.

ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT // England ended their disappointing World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Uzbekistan. It was their first point of a disappointing tournament after losses to Uruguay and Ghana as they finished bottom of Group D. "I can't fault the effort of my players throughout this tournament," said the coach Brian Eastick. "But at the end of the day, Ghana and Uruguay were the best teams in the group and that's why they went through."

Uruguay staged a stirring fightback in the group's other match, scoring an injury-time equaliser to draw 2-2 with 10-man Ghana. The African champions top the group thanks to a better goal difference. Ghana now look likely to avoid a clash with Brazil, who are expected to top Group E. The Uruguay coach Diego Aguirre, however, insisted his team fear no one in the tournament. "We wanted to win the group and stay here, but we fought back well and that's given us confidence to take into the round of 16," he said.

"Yes, it could be Brazil, who are the favourites to win this tournament, but we don't fear any side." England's draw also confirmed Nigeria's progress to the second round as one of the four best third-placed teams, despite winning just three points in Group B. The Cameroon coach Alain Wabo is expected to be given his marching orders when his team returns home after failing to progress beyond the group stages.

The Young Lions, finalists at the African Youth Championships earlier this year, needed at least a point against Germany in their final game on Friday night, but they were humbled 3-0. "I'm very disappointed, in fact I'm more than that, I am dejected," said Wabo. "But I, and we, have to deal with that. That's sport. "Before the tournament I said that I expected us to reach the second round - and we haven't. When we get home I won't be surprised if I lose my job for this; that's football."

arizvi@thenational.ae Visit www.thenational.ae/sport for a report on the UAE's final group game against Hungary