England in a Must-Win Situation After Algeria Debacle

England is facing the specter of an early exit at the World Cup after settling for a scoreless draw against Algeria on Friday, and English fans did not hide their disappointment at Fabio Capello‘s boys after their second-straight draw.

Some 25,000 English fans who trooped to South Africa booed their own side in a harsh reminder for the favored squad that they must win against Slovenia on Wednesday to advance to the knockout phase. However, the way England played their last two matches, beating Slovenia, who are atop Group C after a controversial draw against the US, appears easier said than done.

England’s lackadaisical play in their first two matches has Capello wondering if the team he brought to South Africa are the same guys who showed a lot of promise during qualification. “In these two games we played, that was not the same team I know,” Capello said.

Capello’s stars, like Wayne Rooney, were also far from their best form. Rooney, especially, was actually more effective in getting the ire of English press after he lashed out at fans who booed the team. English tabloid headlines labeled the team as “clowns” and “useless,” among other names.

A draw against Slovenia coupled by at least a draw by the U.S. against Algeria will eliminate England from the tournament. Slovenia lead Group C with 4 points followed by the US and England, who both have two points. However, the Americans lead in goal difference 3-1.