Home sports-news Gareth Bale saves Wales to frustrate USMNT at Qatar 2022 | CNN-EnglishHindiBlogs-SportsNews

Gareth Bale saves Wales to frustrate USMNT at Qatar 2022 | CNN-EnglishHindiBlogs-SportsNews

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Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Al-Rayyan, Qatar
CNN

There was a disappointment for the USMNT in their opening match of Qatar 2022 as Gareth Bale scored a late penalty for Wales.

The USMNT dominated most of the match, but as was often the case, it was LAFC star Bill who pulled Wales out of a sticky situation as this second group match ended 1-1.

Twenty-two-year-old Timothy Weah, son of soccer star George Weah, put the USA ahead in the first half with an impressive finish, but this young American team – with an average age of 25 years and 175 days – just wasn’t able to. He maintained his dominance and allowed Wales to snatch an equaliser.

There was no shortage of American fans inside the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium on Monday and made their voices heard, sharing songs with the Welsh band behind the opposite goal.

The familiar chant of “USA” echoed around the venue on a wonderfully welcoming night in Doha. For most of the match, it looked as if those fans were going to celebrate a well-deserved win.

But just as all hope seemed to be gone for Wells, Bill was clumsily dropped by Walker Zimmerman in the US box.

Then there was no doubt when Bale rose to drive the penalty into the top corner of the net.

It sent the Welsh fans behind the goal into a frenzy and it was Bale’s name that was sung the loudest at the final whistle.

“He never let us down,” Wales manager Rob Page said of Bale after the match.

Wales, playing in their first World Cup match since 1958, seemed to suffer from the occasion in the first half, and even Bale seemed off the pace until his goal.

But the USMNT’s so-called “golden generation” showed a touch of naivety.

The team have a real chance to shine at Qatar 2022, but will need to learn lessons from this match quickly before facing an even tougher test against England on Friday.

Even more surprising was the drop in performance after the half-time break. The USA pressed hard for the first 45 minutes and Wales were limited to a few missed balls in the channels.

American star Christian Pulisic looked exuberant and Weah, who was living out his father’s dream of playing in the World Cup, appeared to score the winning goal with a precise finish with the outside of his boot.

But the change in form from Wales seemed surprising to the young American players who were unable to adapt to a more direct approach than their experienced opponents.

“When you walk into the locker room after the game, you can see the disappointment on their faces,” USA coach Greg Berhalter told reporters after the game. “We bounced a bit with the ball in the second half, and had control in the first half.”

He added, “Even when we win, we think about how to finish the game, but that didn’t happen. The players were disappointed, the staff was disappointed.”

A draw, for both teams, is not the end of the world and still leaves qualification to the knockout stages a real possibility.

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