World Cup: Wales top Ukraine, will face USMNT in Group B opener

The US men's national team's first opponent at the Qatar 2022 World Cup is finally set, with Wales beating Ukraine 1-0 Sunday night in the UEFA Playoff final to complete the Group B lineup.

In a showdown between two nations fueled by their respective emotional storylines, it was the Dragons who prevailed by qualifying for their first World Cup since 1958 at the expense of an opponent turned upside down by war with Russia.

Andriy Yarmolenko's own-goal deflection off a Garth Bale free kick in the 34th minute was all the hosts needed to book their spot at Cardiff City Stadium, where Ukraine were arguably the better team but wasted chance after chance in front of goal.

Brennan Johnson, meanwhile, could've put the game away 15 minutes from time when he clanged his short-range shot off the left post.

Fortunately for the home side, goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was unbeatable between the sticks, registering nine saves to preserve the historic win for Wales.


USMNT's World Cup schedule

World Cup schedule

Rather than being held in the summer, the quadrennial event is being held during November and December. Qatar 2022 will be contested at eight stadiums across five cities.

The schedule breakdown is below:

  • Group stage: Nov. 21 to Dec. 2
  • Round of 16: Dec. 3-6
  • Quarterfinals: Dec. 9-10
  • Semifinals: Dec. 13-14
  • Third place: Dec. 17
  • Final: Dec. 18

With Sunday's result, the USMNT will make their World Cup debut against the Dragons on Nov. 21 (2 pm ET/11 am PT) before taking on England four days later (2 pm ET/11 am PT). They'll close out the group stage against Iran on Nov. 29 (2 pm ET/11 am PT).

Gregg Berhalter's men are coming off a 3-0 drubbing of Morocco on Wednesday and face Uruguay tonight (5 pm ET | FOX, Univision, TUDN) in an international friendly at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. For center back Aaron Long, Los Charrúas will arguably be their toughest opposition ahead of this year's tournament.

"It's a huge test," said the New York Red Bulls captain. “They also have guys on the wings that are really dynamic going one-v-one and creating opportunities for the strikers, who are obviously great goalscorers. So it's a big task. It's a huge test for us and we can't wait.”