Saudi Arabia vs. United States – Football Match Report – September 27, 2022

The United States played against Saudi Arabia in a goalless draw on Tuesday in their last warm-up game before the start of the World Cup in November in Murcia, Spain.

The result completes a disappointing final preparation for the tournament in Qatar for Gregg Berhalter’s side after Friday’s 2-0 defeat by Japan.

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In their last seven games against World Cup-tied nations, the USA have won, lost three and drawn three, and have been ruled out six times.

After the defeat against Japan, Berhalter brought Christian Pulisic into the squad alongside Ricardo Pepi, DeAndre Yedlin and Kellyn Acosta.

But USA suffered an early blow when Gio Reyna was sent off after just 30 minutes, in what US Soccer later said was a precautionary measure after suffering muscle strains.

The USA had made positive signs in the early stages, with decent connection play between the likes of Pulisic, Pepi, Reyna and Weston McKennie, who took advantage of Saudi Arabia’s high defensive line.

But it was limited to distance attempts, the best of which was Tyler Adams just missing a shot from 25 yards. And as the half progressed, the United States became increasingly predictable and ineffective with the ball.

It was Saudi Arabia, ranked 53 in the FIFA rankings, that came closest to opening the scoring in the first 45 minutes. It took a last desperate block from Yedlin and a tussle from Paul Arriola for Reyna to keep the game scoreless after a Hattan Bahebri shot from close range.

The second half didn’t start much better for the USMNT. Yedlin was substituted after 59 minutes after receiving a fierce tackle from Saud Abdulhamid. Joe Scally replaced Yedlin, with Jesus Ferreira and Mark McKenzie also stepping into the action in place of Pepi and Aaron Long.

Pepi had a team low of 13 touches and no shots before being substituted.

Pulisic and McKennie played until the 75th minute when Brenden Aaronson came on in central midfield and Malik Tillman picked up a cross.

USA were without Tim Weah, Yunus Musah, Chris Richards, Antonee Robinson and Zack Steffen through injury, and Miles Robinson will miss the World Cup with a torn Achilles tendon.

Ferreira had the Americans’ best chance of the game but was only able to fire straight at the Saudi Arabia keeper after Arriola found him in the penalty area.

The end result could have been even worse for the US had Saudi Arabia not managed to capitalize on some late opens presented to them by a less than determined US defence.

The USA will next be in action when they start their World Cup season against Wales on November 21 before rounding out the group stage with games against England and Iran.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/report?gameId=641090 Saudi Arabia vs. United States – Football Match Report – September 27, 2022

Emma Bowman

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