AL RAYYAN, Qatar — A young USA team was close to winning their World Cup comeback. Then Walker Zimmerman unnecessarily rammed into Gareth Bale.
Bale scored a penalty in the 82nd minute to give Wales a 1–1 draw on Monday night.
Midfielder Brenden Aaronson said: “I feel like we can win the game.” “It’s a punch to the face.”
Tim Ware led the USA in the 36th minute after a pass from Christian Pulisic and scored in front of a crowd that included his father, former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberian President George Ware.
Back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the United States only closed out the final minutes. However, Brennan Johnson made a throw-in and Aaron Ramsey cut back to Bale, who had his back on goal near the penalty spot. Zimmermann’s sliding his tackle took Bale’s left foot and Qatari referee Abdulrahman his al his Jassim pointed out his spot for a penalty.
“He’s probably just trying to keep me from hitting the ball, not putting his foot on it for the ball,” Zimmerman said. But a clever move — I wish I had seen him out of the corner of my eye.”
Bale, who shot in front of the supporters’ Red Wall, edged past goalkeeper Matt Turner to score his 41st goal in 109 appearances.
“Obviously, it’s a difficult game,” Bale said. “The United States played really well in the first half, not what we wanted to play. We played pretty poorly.”
Next up for the United States was Friday’s high-profile match against England, which opened with a 6-2 victory over Iran. Wales will play Iran.
Top 2 teams advance.
“I think it’s pretty obvious — a disappointing result for us,” Turner said.
At just 22 years old, Weah was the second-youngest member of the new-look USA team in the tournament.
Yunus Musser, at 19 years and 358 days, was the youngest American to appear in a cup match, and started Weir’s move to goal when he headed the ball to Josh Sargent in the midfield stripes. Sargent turned the plate on Pulisic, who exploded in the middle of the field. Pulisic rolled the ball towards Ware on his fourth touch, and Ware ran with perfect timing to break in ahead of Neco Williams.
From near the penalty spot, Ware used the side of his right foot to drive the ball above sliding goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy’s left thigh to score his fourth goal in 26 international appearances.
“It’s a dream come true for every attacker, every player to score in the World Cup,” Ware said.
In the 750th U.S. international game, the Americans opened a U.S. Cup record with 10 players from European clubs, with Major League Soccer’s Zimmerman alone. DeAndre Yedlin, who came on in the 74th minute, was the only American with previous World Cup experience.
Sargent nearly put the Americans in the lead when he hit the post with a header from Antoni Robinson’s cross in the 10th minute.
After the USA dominated the first half with 66% ball possession, Wales switched to a three-man attack and won 67% in the first 15 minutes of the second half. In the 64th minute, Ben Davis’ header was pushed over the crossbar by Turner’s jump.
The match was played at the rebuilt Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in the Arabian Desert west of Doha, lit with bright colors and featuring an exterior intended to replicate the rolling sand dunes. The United States Soccer Federation sold about 3,300 tickets, and Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said he was among the 43,418 spectators.
“It was nerve-wracking,” Pulisic said. “Now he has to figure out how to put it together for 90 minutes.”
Serginho Dest, Weston McKennie, Tim Ream and Kerrin Acosta received yellow cards.
US midfielder Gio Reyna has been postponed after coach Greg Verhalter said he was nervous without specifying.
https://www.morningjournal.com/2022/11/21/bale-salvages-1-1-draw-for-wales-against-us-in-world-cup-2/ Bale holds out 1-1 draw in Wales v USA – The Morning Journal