Late Wales Penalty Salvages Draw with the United States

Wales Penalty Salvages Draw as the Team Celebrates Gareth Bales' Goal at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium

Ar-Rayyan, Qatar – A first-half goal from Timothy Weah would be canceled out with Walker Zimmerman taking down Gareth Bale inside the box and the Welshman converting from the spot as a late Wales penalty salvages draw with the United States.

Late Wales Penalty Salvages Draw with United States

USMNT Attack Continues to Struggle:

Despite the 36-minute goal from Weah and winning out in possession with 59 percent for the entire match, the USMNT has continued to struggle with consistently producing opportunities in front of the goal. It shouldn’t necessarily be blamed on the striker head coach Gregg Berhalter puts out there – in this case, Josh Sargent and later Haji Wright – but instead on this strange disconnect between the midfield and attack that seems to slow the USMNT’s progress. If not for some solid dribbling and a well-timed through ball from Christian Pulisic to find Weah in on goal, the United States very well may have left this match empty-handed. 

That being said, there were still some strong individual performances in both the midfield and attacking sections led by captain Tyler Adams who played a key role in keeping the Wales attack at bay throughout the day.


Bale’s on a Roll with First Welsh World Cup Goal since ‘58:

It’s no secret that 2022 has been a fantastic year for the Welsh winger starting this campaign off by securing Wales a World Cup spot with two wins in the European Qualification Playoff including a brace to defeat Austria in the semi-finals. He’d follow this up by inking a deal to join Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC helping his new club to an MLS Cup Title with a game-tying 128-minute goal before winning it in a shootout. And now, bagging the first Welsh World Cup goal since 1958 to salvage a 1-1 draw with the United States.

Bale was always expected to be the leader of his nation and he showed today that not only is this a passionate and determined Wales squad, but they’re one that came to compete highlighted by a solid defensive showing and a few big chances on goal in the second half that just needed better finishing.

Berhalter’s Substitute Decisions Leave Question Marks; Wales Penalty Salvages Draw

The addition of Brenden Aaronson in the 66-minute seemed a smart one for a side failing to find offensive opportunities but fans and media alike have questioned Berhalter’s decision to bring on Jordan Morris in the 88th minute instead of Borussia Dortmund starlet Giovanni Reyna. While speculators at first assumed Reyna must have picked up a knock, he later confirmed that he was 100 percent prior to the match and would have played if subbed on leaving some displeased with Berhalter’s decisions.

To the coach’s credit, he backed the Morris substitution in a post-match interview saying at the current phase of the game he felt the Seattle Sounders winger was his best option. However, with the constant grapple to find attacking opportunities, especially with 9 minutes of added time, many will feel a creatively gifted playmaker like Reyna could have been the difference between a draw and a U.S. win.

Last Word: Deflating Draw for the United States; Wales Breathe a Sigh of Relief 

READ MORE: USMNT World Cup Preview: Welcome to Group B, Wales

For a United States team that started this match strongly and had Wales on their backheels for most of the first half, a 1-1 draw has to feel like a disappointment, particularly with the lack of chances created using that first-half momentum. They struggled offensively and while it wasn’t a terrible performance the USMNT will need to regroup and reevaluate prior to facing England on Friday.

Conversely, the late penalty will wash a wave of relief over the Welsh players and fans despite dominating in the second half and producing a few decent looks at goal. This may be the nation’s first World Cup appearance in a long time but a draw today buys Wales a chance at getting out of the group if they can continue showing well on the pitch in their next two matchups.


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