On the brink of victory, USMNT can’t shut out Wales


Al Rayyan, Qatar – The United States of america was forced to settle for the men’s national team 1-1 draw In their opening game of the World Cup against Group B opposition wales,

– World Cup 2022: News and Features , Schedule , squads

Tim Weah Put America in front, slotting home after collecting a clever pass from christian pulisic, But after struggling in the first half, Wales came back in the second half Gareth Bale converting an 82nd-minute penalty to force each side to a point.

jump to: player ratings , Best/Worst Performers , Highlights and Notable Moments , quotes after match , key figures , upcoming fixtures

Swift response

1. America Can’t Shut Down Wales

The tactical layout of this match seemed pretty straightforward. Most of the possession would be with the US, while Wales would be content to sit back and try to catch the Americans on the break. And for the first half, that was exactly how things went, with the US holding a 66%-34% advantage in possession.

The only question was whether America could seize its opportunities when they arrived. For a while it looked like the answer would be “no”. Joe Rodan Almost gifted America a goal when he headed Weah’s hard cross past the keeper Wayne HennessyAnd josh sargent Followed up with a header that hit the outside of the post.

Wales then appeared to settle into comfortable zones on defence, even as it generated nothing in attack. But in the 36th minute, a moment of brilliance brought the breakthrough for the US. Sargent’s layup for Pulisic suddenly found the American in space for some time at any half, and his pass found Weah clearly in Hennessy’s slot in the Wales goal.

It was a worthy tally for all that the US did in the first half, but it paid off in the second half, as Wales made some tactical changes (more on that later) and committed more numbers in attack. Were.

timely introduction of Branden Aaronson for a tedious Weston McKenney Gave America some much needed energy in midfield. Switch headed down the field for a spell in his direction, but it was not enough. a clumsy and unnecessary challenge by walker zimmerman On Gareth Bale – judging that Bale had his back rounded – a penalty was correctly awarded, which Bale converted with authority.

A 1–1 draw is a result that will remain in the crows of the American team. It was minutes away from claiming all three points and putting itself in a position to control its destiny in Group B. England amazing Iran 6-2, the battle for second place is now wide open, with a tough game against the next three Lions. While the result is by no means fatal, it is not what America was hoping for given how long it was ahead in this match.

2. Second-half adjustments spark Wales revival

The Dragons had waited 64 long years since their last appearance in the World Cup, and with a match-winner in Bell in their side, they had the ability to pose a threat to any team. But the first half made us wonder how they made it this far. Wells looked absolutely toothless in attack, doing nothing to trouble the American defence.

Some of it was down to the stifling midfield play of the Americans. Tyler Adams as well as fast and focused defense Tim Ream, But Wales also did little to help himself with some wayward passes. Bale was exclusively a peripheral figure, touching the ball just 15 times in the first half.

Striker’s second half introduction kiefer moore Gave Wales a little more weight up front and side Aaron Ramsey Moving forward, the moves gave the US defense something different to think about. The changes had their intended effect, with Wales pushing America back for long periods during the second half. Ben Davis Almost equalized with a 65th-minute header, which the US keeper tipped over the bar matt turner, Moore’s header from the ensuing corner just went over.

Just when it looked like America might survive, Wells was handed a lifeline when Zimmerman’s aforementioned clumsy challenge on Bell was properly whistled as a penalty. Bell slammed home the ensuing spot kick, giving Wales a precious point which had looked impossible for most of the evening. Now Group B is open.

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3. Yes Breaks New Ground

For practically the entirety of his professional career, Weh has found himself trying to emerge from the considerable shadow cast by father and former Ballon d’Or winner George Weh. But young Weah has been making its way in recent years by winning league titles Paris Saint Germain, Celticand more recently, lily,

On this day, Tim ventured into territory never visited by his famous father. George never made it to the World Cup, although there was a tragic miss with Liberia during the 2002 cycle. Now Tim has a World Cup goal to his credit.

Making Tim’s performance even more impressive is that he operates in a position that is the deepest on the US team, keeping talented players like Aronson with his speed, off-the-ball running and finishing. live rayna On the bench. Given his contributions, there’s no doubt he’ll keep his spot, although on another night he might have walked away with a game winner.

player ratings

America: Matt Turner 6, antoine robinson 6, Tim Ream 7, Walker Zimmerman 4, sergino destination 5, Yunus Musa 5, Tyler Adams 6, Weston McKennie 5, Christian Pulisic 6, Josh Sargent 5, Tim Weah 7

sub: Brendan Aaronson 6, DeAndre Yedlin 5, kelin acosta 4, Haji Wright 5, Jordan Morris 5

Wales: Wayne Hennessey 6, Ben Davis 6, Joe Roden 6, Chris Maypham 6, neko williams 4, Aaron Ramsey 5, Ethan Ampadu 5, conor roberts 5, Daniel James 4, Gareth Bale 5, harry wilson 5

sub: Kiefer Moore 6, Brennan Johnson 5, Joe Morell 5, Sorba Thomas 5

best and worst performers

Best: Tim Weah, United States. Weah gets a nod not only for his contribution in attack, but also for his willingness to track back and help defensively.

Worst: Walker Zimmerman, United States. Defenders are often judged by their mistakes, and it proved to be the case for Zimmerman. There was no need for him to knock on the bell. It remains to be seen how costly this can prove to be.

Highlights and Notable Moments

The USMNT got a pep talk from President Biden.

George Weah achieved a lot in his illustrious sporting career. However, he has never played in a World Cup, something son Tim did on Monday. Oh, and he scored, so he can dominate dad at the next family gathering, too.

barely two weeks ago, LAFC were thrilled by Bale’s dramatic late goal. On Monday, the MLS Cup champions were less than excited about their No. 11 finish.

After the match: What the players and managers said

Turner: “We gave them a lifeline. We dropped two points.”

Yes: “It felt like we had a lot of energy in the first half, a lot of momentum … and then coming into the second half we dialed it up and Wales turned it up a notch. They started putting pressure on us, their Had most of the ball and I think in the end that’s what really hurt us.

Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Info)

At 19 years, 358 days old, Musa became the youngest player to start a World Cup match for the USMNT.

The average age of Monday’s starting XI is 25 years, 102 days. This is the fourth youngest USMNT lineup at the World Cup, behind only the three lineups at Italia ’90, where XIs averaged over 24 years old.

– At 23 years, 279 days, Adams is the youngest player to captain the USA at the World Cup since 1950 and the third-youngest overall.

Prior to Weah’s 37th-minute goal, the last player to score against Wales in a World Cup match was Pele in 1958.

– The US has advanced from the group stage every time it has won or drawn its opening match, and has been eliminated every time it has not.

Bale’s last five goals for club and country have all come in the 80th minute or later.

– The USMNT are winless in their last 10 FWorld Cup matches against European opposition, the last such victory coming in the 2002 group stage versus the US. portugal,


America: The US returns to action on Friday, when it faces high-flying England at Al Bayt Stadium for a 2 p.m. ET kickoff.

Wales: Wales will get a slate of Friday matches against Iran at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium with a 5 a.m. ET kickoff.

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