The United States and Wales earned a hard-fought, physical 1-1 draw in Group A’s World Cup opener at Qatar’s Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Monday night.
Timothy Weah scored a first-class goal in the 36th minute to put USA ahead at half-time but Gareth Bale struck from the penalty spot late in the second half to give Wales an important point.
– Borden: Who feeds the USMNT? The chef behind the squad
– Behalter believes the US can beat anyone on their best day
After a lively opening 15 minutes, a Wales own goal and a Josh Sargent header seconds apart saw the USA almost open the scoring, while both Sergino Dest and Weston McKennie received yellow cards for hard fouls.
Gregg Berhalter’s side continued to look more dangerous and scored the opener late in the first half when Weah deftly converted his chance after a quick counterattack after being played behind the defense by Christian Pulisic.
Physical exertion continued after the goal, with Bale and Chris Mepham booked just before half-time for fouls on Yunus Musah and Pulisic respectively.
Wales manager Rob Page made the crucial change at half-time, replacing the ineffective Dan James with the taller Kiefer Moore, who was just what the side had been lacking in the early stages.
As play resumed in the second half, Wales forced USA to defend long and Matt Turner showed himself big in the 64th minute, deflecting a powerful Ben Davies header over the bar.
Berhalter made three substitutions during the half to help USA see the game. Kellyn Acosta, Haji Wright and DeAndre Yedlin came in and Musah, Dest and Sargent made way.
With the USA heading for a massive win early in the World Cup, Bale pulled a foul from Walker Zimmerman in the box and delivered an unstoppable penalty to defeat Turner to finally level the game despite 10 minutes of added time in the second half.
The USA finished with four yellow cards, the most yellow card in a World Cup game since the fifth draw against Germany in 2002, while Bale was booked twice in the game.
Next up for the USA is a massive friendly against leaders England on Friday, followed by a game against Iran, who lost their opening game 6-2 to the Three Lions on 29 November.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/report?gameId=633787 United States vs. Wales – Football Match Report – November 21, 2022