SOCCER

USA Settles For Point In Opening World Cup Game Against Wales

Nov 21, 2022, 2:28 PM

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Aaron Ramsey of Wales battles for possession with Tim Ream of United States during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between USA and Wales at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

(Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The USA drew 1-1 with Wales to open its 2022 World Cup campaign.

The fixture was a game of two halves, with the USMNT dominating the opening 45 minutes and the Welsh controlling the second half.

Impressive USMNT Start

The USA opened the scoring in the 35th minute when Tim Weah’s outside-of-the-foot strike found the bottom right-hand corner. The goal was beautifully orchestrated from the backline that concluded with Christian Pulisic running at the Welsh backline before perfectly weighing his through ball onto the feet of Weah who finished the move off.

“I felt like in the first half we had a lot of energy, a lot of momentum, but in the second half, it died down and Wales stepped it up a notch so we have to be better moving forward,” Weah told Fox sideline reporter Jenny Taft after the game.

At the half, the USMNT dominated 67% of the possession while dominating the chances in front of goal. However, the Welsh made halftime adjustments and flipped the game on its head in the second half.

“I think we lost a little bit of power, in the same sense, Wales stepped up their pressure and we had some good counter-attacking opportunities,” US manager Gregg Berhalter told reporters immediately following the fixture.

The Welsh Claw Back

The addition of Kieffer Moore, the 6 foot 5-inch A.F.C Bournemouth striker, at halftime completely altered the manner in which the Welsh played. Moore was fantastic at holding the ball up, competing in the air, and utilizing his size against the US center-back duo of Walker Zimmerman and Tim Ream.

Moore came within inches of scoring early in the second half when he rose higher than the rest from a corner kick but his glancing header sailed over the crossbar. USA goalkeeper Matt Turner misjudged the corner kick and was caught off his line in no man’s land.

In the 82nd minute, the United States got caught from a throw-in as Aaron Ramsey played a ball into the area after making a run behind the United States backline. The ball fell to Gareth Bale who attempted to shield the ball from Zimmerman, but Zimmerman went through Bale to make contact with the ball and the referee rewarded the Welsh a penalty.

Bale’s attempt made contact with Turner’s glove but the shot had too much power and ended up in the back of the net to level the score.

The USA will next play England at noon on Black Friday, September 25. Group B is currently led by England who defeated Iran earlier in the day 6-2. The United States and Wales are tied in second place on one point.

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USA Settles For Point In Opening World Cup Game Against Wales