22WC_us_wal_recap

Tim Weah scored a first-half opener, but Gareth Bale answered with a late penalty kick, forcing the US men's national team to settle for a 1-1 draw against Wales in their 2022 FIFA World Cup Group B opener in Qatar on Monday.

The US controlled the action for much of the first half, eventually finding their breakthrough in the 36th minute through Weah. Christian Pulisic provided the service with an inch-perfect through ball, allowing the Lille winger to convert a first-time finish past Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.

It was tougher sledding in the second half as Wales chased an equalizer. They nearly found one in a pivotal sequence starting in the 65th minute, when former New England Revolution standout and Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner made a highlight-reel save to deny Ben Davies on the doorstep.

The Welsh found their equalizer, though, as Bale won an 81st-minute penalty kick by drawing a foul in the US area on Walker Zimmerman. That allowed the LAFC star to step to the spot, where he drilled the leveler past Turner and forced the sides to split the points.

Goals

  • 36' - USA - Tim Weah | WATCH
  • 81' - WAL - Gareth Bale (PK) | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The final outcome wasn't a devastating result, but the Yanks will be disappointed to not open up group play with three points after a comprehensive first half had them holding the late lead. Instead of a crucial victory, it's a missed opportunity ahead of a mammoth Group B matchup with England on Friday, which now has even loftier implications for the USMNT's World Cup hopes.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The result was decided on the late sequence that led to Bale's pressure-packed PK, which he converted for his Welsh-record 41st career international goal.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: It was a lights-out shift from USMNT captain Tyler Adams, who was all over the field doing the dirty work that makes him arguably the team's most indispensable player.

Next Up

  • USA: Friday, November 25 vs. England | 2 pm ET (FOX, Telemundo) | Group B
  • Wales: Friday, November 25 vs. Iran | 5 am ET (FOX, Telemundo) | Group B