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Under fire World Cup ball blamed for Green howler...

Steven Gerrard wants England to pick up maximum points from their remaining games in Group C following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the USA.

The skipper gave Fabio Capello's side the lead after just four minutes but Robert Green’s howler allowed Clint Dempsey to equalise late on in the first half.

Dempsey’s ambitious strike from the edge of the area looked certain to fall into the arms of Green but the England goalkeeper somehow allowed the ball to squirm past him in what was to be the decisive goal in the match.

Gerrard was disappointed not to beat the USA but is pleased not to get beat in the opening match of the tournament.

The England skipper told ITV Sport: "It's one of them freak things.

"I don't think you can criticise the goalkeeper, people have been talking about the ball and it's tricky and I’m sure he’ll play a big part later in the competition.

"It shocked us a bit but we expected to get on and win the match. I thought we finished the game stronger."

When asked whether Robert Green will remain as England's goalkeeper throughout the World Cup, Gerrard said: "Without a doubt, I’m sure he'll learn from this and I’m sure he’ll play a part for us down the line and we’re all behind him."

Regarding the game as a whole, Gerrard said: "It was a difficult game."

"The most important thing is not to lose and unfortunately we've let a poor goal in and we couldn’t get the winner.

"The target now is seven points."

England now play Algeria in Cape Town on June 18 before playing Slovenia on June 23 in Port Elizabeth.

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