RUSTENBURG, South Africa (AP) — Fabio Capello had nine months to prepare for England's World Cup opener and was still fretting about tactics and lineups during the 1-1 draw against the United States.
Capello never could had predicted the glaring blunder that saw goalkeeper Robert Green fumble Clint Dempsey's shot into his own net for the Americans' only goal Saturday.
But the gambles to start the match with midfielder James Milner and defender Ledley King backfired, with both replaced by the start of the second half. A yellow card for Milner prompted fears he could see red and force England to play short-handed, while the injury-prone King went off with a groin problem.
England looked disjointed, perhaps symptomatic of Capello not revealing the starting lineup to his players until two hours before kickoff.
The euphoria of England's rapid qualification has faded and Capello, going into Friday's second Group C match against Algeria, still faces the same puzzles he's been trying to solve since then.
"There's a little bit more pressure," defender John Terry said. "We conceded a goal at a bad time after going ahead — it was a bit of a shock and setback to receive."
The equalizer, though, reignited the debate about England's lack of goalkeeping talent. One of the big unknowns was who Capello would select as his World Cup keeper. Robert Green was the answer, a decision he might be reconsidering.
"I decided Green would be the goalkeeper because he played the last game very well, and at Wembley (against Mexico), and the performance was very good, too," Capello said. "He made one mistake, but in the second half he made a good save. This is the problem of the goalkeeper.
"We have to accept the mistakes of goalkeepers and of referees and of forwards. This is football."
After taking a 1-0 lead on captain Steven Gerrard's flick past Tim Howard after just four minutes, the English were unable to further exploit the porous American back line. They were left to watch the Americans surge in confidence and hold most of the possession.
The frustrations were manifested when Milner, initially doubtful with a virus, received a yellow card for tripping Steve Cherundolo after 26 minutes. Milner lasted just four more minutes before being replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips.
"I substituted him because he was booked," Capello said. "I was worried about a second booking and he (would be) sent off."
Uncertainty still accompanies the English. King is expected to miss the Algeria game after injuring his groin. King was replaced by Jamie Carragher after halftime.
"I am not worried for the next game," Capello said. "We ran better in the second half than the USA. But now we have to look forward for the next game."
Still, there will be a lot of looking back.