Joel Samad/AFP via Getty Images
DOHA, Qatar — The US men’s national team’s first appearance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a crucial opener against Wales, ended in a 1-1 draw, complicating the United States’ hopes of a group-stage exit.
The result was a disappointment after the United States showed flashes of brilliance in a dominant first half.
The first goal in the team’s career in the World Cup came in the 36th minute, p US winger Christian Pulisic sent a breakaway ball to Timothy Weah, who volleyed it just before the outstretched foot of Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy as the US-friendly crowd roared.
The young USA team dominated most of the early game at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, edging out Wales at the time of possession. The goal had narrowly missed an earlier goal in a chaotic sequence as a Welsh goal near his own goal was turned into a chance by striker Josh Sargent, whose header went wide of the post.
But Wells came Alive in the second half, he pressed hard on the US defense. Keeper Matt Turner worked to prevent Wells from finding the net with a series of catches Highlight saves reel.
A huge mistake came late in the match by American defender Walker Zimmerman, who fouled Wales captain Gareth Bale in the penalty area, awarding him a penalty. Bale slotted in the equalizer to level the game at 1-1 in the 82nd minute.
Monday’s draw leaves the United States and Wales each with one point in the tally that will determine whether they advance to the knockout round. England’s victory over Iran put them ahead by three.
here we are. 🇺🇸
– United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) November 21, 2022
After failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the United States returned to the tournament with a new guise: All but one of the 26 players on the roster had not played in a World Cup match before today, and the team is one of the best. The smallest difference in the entire event.
The United States has turned to its young stars who are honing their playing skills in Europe’s top-level leagues – including Pulisic, the 24-year-old virtual winger with Chelsea, and captain Tyler Adams, the 23-year-old midfielder for Leeds. united.
Monday’s opponents Wales will miss the World Cup finals for an even longer period – this year being their first since 1958. But the team’s performances in recent years, under Bale, have impressed many. At number 19, it is ranked third behind the United States
This was the first meeting between Wales and the United States in a World Cup match. Both teams considered the day a deciding game to win their narrow path out of competitive Group B (no other group has a higher FIFA rating than Group B at 15, led by England, favorites to win the entire tournament.)
🇺🇸🏴 beginning of the eleventh
– Wells 🏴 November 21, 2022
Any first World Cup match is already important for both teams – since 1998, 84% of teams that win their opening match are able to advance from the group stage.
But with England dominating 6-2, it looks almost certain to leave the group – leaving Wales, the United States and Iran fighting for second place.
The next opportunity for the USA team is on Friday: a marquee match with England set for 2pm ET.
Tom Goldman reports in Doha, Qatar and Becky Sullivan in Washington, DC
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