"America 1 England 0," was the banner headline in the Daily Mirror, and the Daily Telegraph and free London daily Metro ran similar headlines along the same theme.
Underneath the headline to the Everton-Spurs game, the Mirror added, "USA keeper wins spot-kick duel with England hot-shot Defoe (let's hope and pray there's no repeat on June 12)."
The Guardian played up the duel with this subhead: "Howard saves and takes heart for World Cup clash."
Problem was, Howard wasn't talking about USA-England. He was more concerned with his current employer, whose three-game losing streak was snapped thanks to his save.
"When he gives a penalty," Howard told the BBC Sport Merseyside, "you think that it sums us up right now. But the boys were saying they were hoping I'd save it. We were feeling like we haven't any luck and maybe that's just what we needed."