Gareth Bale converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute to equalize Tim Weah’s first-half goal to earn Wales a 1-1 draw against the United States on Monday in the return of the World Cup to two countries.
Weah, the son of former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberian President George Weah, scored in the 36th minute after a pass from Christian Pulisic.
Back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the United States appeared poised for victory. But Walker Zimmerman plowed down the vine with the back of the Welsh star to score, and referee Abdulrahman Al-Jasim for hosts Qatar pointed to the penalty spot.
Bell fired his kick to the left of goalkeeper Matt Turner’s outstretched arm Saved a point for Wales in their first World Cup match since 1958, for his 41st goal in 109 international matches.
Weh said, “The most important thing was that we didn’t lose.” “We kept a tie, and now we focus on the next game.”
Next up for the United States is a high-profile matchup against England on Friday, the same day Wales face Iran. England started with a 6–2 defeat of the Iranians on the first Monday.
Tim Weah, just 22 years old, was part of a new-look US team that is the second youngest team in the tournament.
USA coach Greg Berhalter said, “It was a tough match. We left everything out there.”
Pulisic, the top American player and one of the few holdovers from the 2017 qualifying failure, burst into the middle of the field in a move that led to the goal. Weah timed his run perfectly as Pulisic passed Neko Williams to overtake him.
From near the penalty area, Weah used the edge of his right foot to poke the ball over the left thigh of sliding goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey for his fourth goal in 26 international matches.
They ran towards the American fans with arms outstretched and both dropped to one knee. He was surrounded by teammates, then raised both hands to the sky and blew a kiss to the sky.
George Weah, who has never played in a World Cup, plans to attend the game.
Thousands of supporters filled one end of the lower bowl at Red Wall and sang throughout.
In the 750th international match in United States history, the Americans debuted a record 10 players from European clubs, with Zimmerman the only one from Major League Soccer. DeAndre Yedlin, who entered in the 74th minute, was the only American player with previous World Cup experience.
Josh Sargent almost put the Americans ahead in the 10th minute when he hit the post with a header from Antoine Robinson’s cross,
Ben Davies’ header in the 64th minute Pushed over the crossbar by a leaping turner,
The match was played at the rebuilt Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium in the Arabian desert west of Doha, lit in brilliant colors and featuring an outdoor facade meant to replicate sand dunes.
The US Soccer Federation sold about 3,300 tickets, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was on hand in the crowd of 43,418.
Four Americans picked up yellow cards for rough tackling and would have been suspended if assessed another: Sergino Deste, Weston McKennie, Tim Ream and Kellen Acosta.
young at heart
Younes Moussa, at 19 years, 358 days old, became the youngest American to start a World Cup match, 19 days younger than DaMarcus Beasley in 2002, and 23-year-old Tyler Adams the youngest since Harry Keough and Walter Bahr in 1950 The American of age became the World Cup captain.
Turner and Zimmerman played their first competitive match in a month, and McKennie – with newly dyed red, white and blue hair – his first in three weeks. Ream was paired with Zimmermann in central defence, making his first international appearance in 14 months.
For Wales, Hennessy played only his second match since late September and Bell made his second start in two months.