The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT), was frustrated in its first game of Qatar 2022. Gareth Bale, a late penalty for Wales, caused frustration.
Although the USMNT was dominant throughout the match, as is so often the case, Bale of LAFC pulled Wales out of a difficult situation. The Group B match ended 1-1.
Timothy Weah (22-year-old son of George Weah soccer legend) had set the US in front in the first half with a fine finish. However, this young US side, with an average age of 25 years and 175 days, was unable to sustain its dominance and gave way to Wales.
On Monday, there was no shortage of American fans at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. They sang and danced with the Welsh contingent.
On a cool evening in Doha, the familiar “U-S-A” chants were heard throughout the venue. It looked like they were celebrating a well-deserved win for much of the match.
Just as it seemed that all hope was lost for Wales, Bale’s fate was brought to an abrupt halt by Walker Zimmerman in the US box.
Bale was able to score his spot-kick in the net’s top corner.
The goal sent fans of Wales into a frenzy, and Bale was the one who was sung loudest at the end.
After the match, Rob Paige, Wales’s manager, said that Bale had never let them down.
Wales was playing in its first World Cup match in 1958. Bale looked off the pace up to his goal.
However, the so-called “golden generation” of the USMNT showed a little naivety.
Qatar 2022 is a great opportunity for the team to shine, but they will need to quickly learn from this match before facing an even tougher test against England on Friday.
Its performance drop after the halftime break was what was most remarkable. The USA pressed hard in the first 45 minutes, and Wales was limited to few wasted balls on the channels.
US star Christian Pulisic was lively, and Weah looked like he had achieved his father’s dream of playing in a World Cup.
The young players in the United States were surprised by a sudden change of form from Wales. They couldn’t adapt to a more direct approach taken by their older counterparts.
Gregg Berhalter, the US head coach, said that he could see the frustration on the faces of the
players when he walked into the locker room following the game. “We were a little sloppy in the second half with the ball, but we had complete control in the first.”
He said, “Even when our team wins, we think about how to close the game. But it didn’t happen.” The staff was disappointed as well as the players.
For both teams, a draw is not the end. However, it leaves the possibility of qualifying for the knockout stages.
Holland won 2-0 against Senegal at Al Thumama Stadium in Group A thanks to late goals by Cody Gakpo & Davy Klaassen.
Louis van Gaal’s team is now joint-top of the group, with Ecuador who beat Qatar 2-0 Sunday.