Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar
There was frustration for the US Males’s Nationwide Group (USMNT) in its opening sport of Qatar 2022 as Gareth Bale scored a late penalty for Wales.
The USMNT was dominant for a lot of the match, however as has so usually been the case, it was LAFC star Bale who dug Wales out of a sticky scenario as this Group B sport ended 1-1.
The 22-year-old Timothy Weah, son of soccer nice George Weah, had put the US forward within the first-half with a superb end however this younger US facet – with a median age of 25 years and 175 days – was unable to keep up its dominance and allowed Wales to grab a draw.
There was no scarcity of American followers contained in the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Monday and so they made their voices heard, exchanging songs with the Welsh contingent behind the other objective.
The acquainted “U-S-A” chants reverberated across the venue on what was a welcome cool night time in Doha. For a lot of the match, it regarded as if these followers could be celebrating a a lot deserved win.
However simply as all hope regarded to have disappeared for Wales, Bale was clumsily introduced down by Walker Zimmerman within the US field.
There was then little question as Bale stepped as much as hearth his spot-kick into the highest nook of the web.
It despatched the Welsh followers behind the objective right into a frenzy and it was Bale’s identify being sung the loudest on the remaining whistle.
“He has by no means allow us to down,” Wales supervisor Rob Paige mentioned of Bale after the sport.
Wales, taking part in in its first World Cup match since 1958, appeared to wrestle with the event within the first half and even Bale had regarded off the tempo till his objective.
However the USMNT’s so-called ‘golden era’ confirmed a contact of naivety.
The staff has an actual alternative to shine in Qatar 2022 however might want to rapidly be taught the teachings from this match earlier than going through a a lot sterner check in opposition to England on Friday.
What was most shocking was its drop-off in efficiency after the halftime interval. The US pressed with depth within the opening 45 minutes and restricted Wales to a couple wasteful balls into the channels.
US star Christian Pulisic regarded full of life and Weah, who was dwelling his father’s dream by taking part in in a World Cup, regarded to have scored the winner with a fragile end with the skin of his boot.
However a change of form from Wales appeared to shock the younger US gamers who weren’t capable of adapt to a extra direct method from their skilled opponents.
“Strolling into the locker room after the sport you can see the frustration on their faces,” US head coach Gregg Berhalter advised reporters after the sport. “We acquired a bit sloppy with the ball within the second half, we had management within the first half.”
He added: “Even once we’re successful, we’re interested by how we might shut out the sport, however it didn’t occur. Gamers have been upset, employees have been upset.”
A draw, for each groups, isn’t the tip of the world and nonetheless leaves qualification into the knockout levels an actual chance.