FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: The U.S. and Wales tie 1-1 in a crucial opening match

The United States men’s national team’s first appearance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a key opening match against Wales, concluded in a 1-1 deadlock, hurting the Americans’ chances of progressing beyond the group round. After displaying flashes of grandeur in a dominant first half, the outcome was quite disappointing.

The first goal of the team’s World Cup campaign came in the 36th minute when Christian Pulisic fed a breakaway ball to Timothy Weah, who flicked it in just ahead of Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey’s outstretched foot as the U.S.-friendly crowd roared. The youthful US team dominated the early game at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, outplaying Wales in time of possession.  It almost missed an earlier goal in a frantic sequence that saw a near-Wales own-goal transform into an opportunity for striker Josh Sargent, whose header sailed just past the post.

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U.S. and Wales tie 1-1 in a crucial opening match

Wales, on the other hand, came alive in the second half, pressing hard on the US defense. Keeper Matt Turner made a number of highlight-reel saves to deny Wales from scoring. And late in the game, US defender Walker Zimmerman fouled Wales captain Gareth Bale in the area, giving him a penalty kick. In the 82nd minute, Bale scored the equalizer to draw the game to 1-1. We lost a little bit of power,” US coach Gregg Berhalter told FOX after the game.

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“It was a tough game to win. Everything was left out there. Following Monday’s draw, the United States and Wales each have one point in the tally that will determine whether they advance to the knockout round. England now has three wins after defeating Iran. Following their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the United States has returned to the tournament with a new look: all but one of the 26 players on the roster have never played in a World Cup game before today, and the team is one of the youngest in the tournament.

The United States has turned to its young stars who have honed their skills in high-level European leagues, such as Pulisic, a 24-year-old phenom winger for Chelsea, and team captain Tyler Adams, a 23-year-old midfielder for Leeds United. Wales, Monday’s opponent, has been out of the World Cup for even longer, making its first participation since 1958. However, the team’s recent performance under Bale’s leadership has pleased many. It is placed 19th, just three positions below the United States.

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Wales and the United States met for the first time in a World Cup match. Both clubs see today as a must-win game on their challenging path out of competitive Group B. (No other group has a better average FIFA rating than Group B, which is led by England, the tournament favorite.)

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