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At FIFA World Cup Qatar, the United States and Wales 1 to 1

Nov 25, 2022

DOHA, Qatar – The opening game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the U.S. men’s national team versus Wales resulted in a 1 to 1 draw, hurting the side’s chances of advancing past the group round. 

After displaying some excellent moments in a commanding first half, the result was somewhat disappointing.

The team’s first World Cup goal was scored in the 36th minute by Timothy Weah, who flicked the ball in just ahead of Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey’s outstretched foot as the U.S.-friendly crowd cheered. Timothy Weah received the ball from American winger Christian Pulisic on a breakaway.

At Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, the young American team dominated the early going while out-possessioning Wales. A near Wales own-goal developed into a chance for forward Josh Sargent, whose header narrowly missed the post, during a frenzied sequence where a previous goal was narrowly missed.

But in the second half, Wales woke up and pressed the American defense hard. With several highlight-reel saves, goalkeeper Matt Turner tried to prevent Wales from scoring.

Walker Zimmerman of the United States made a crucial error late in the game when he fouled Wales captain Gareth Bale in the area, giving him a penalty kick. In the 82nd minute, Bale scored the equalizer to knot the score at one.

In a post-game interview with FOX, U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter remarked, “We lost a little bit of power.” We gave the game our all, and it was a hard-fought victory.”

In the tally that will determine whether they advance to the knockout round, the U.S. and Wales now have one point each following Monday’s draw. With Iran defeated, England now leads with 3.

The United States has entered the tournament with a new look after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The team is one of the youngest in the competition, and 25 of the 26 players on the roster have never played in a World Cup match before today.

The United States has turned to its youthful talents who have polished their abilities playing in top-tier European leagues. These players include team captain Tyler Adams, 23, a midfielder for Leeds United, and prodigy winger Christian Pulisic, 24, of Chelsea.

Wales, the team that Wales will face on Monday, hasn’t participated in the World Cup since 1958; this year marks its first appearance. But Bale’s leadership has inspired the team to great success in recent seasons. It is only three places behind the United States in the rankings at #19 overall.

It was Wales and the United States’ initial encounter in a World Cup game. Today’s game was seen by both sides as a crucial one to win to advance from the challenging Group B playoff bracket. The average FIFA ranking of Group B, which is 15 and is led by England, the favorites to win the entire tournament, is the highest of any group.

Any opening World Cup game is crucial for both sides since, since 1998, 84% of winning teams have advanced past the group stage.

Wales, the United States, and Iran are all vying for second place in the group, but with England appearing to be a near-lock to win with a 6-2 victory, they are all looking dominant.

The next opportunity for the American team will be when they play England in a major matchup.

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