USA 1-1 Wales: Gareth Bale penalty salvages draw in World Cup opener

Gareth. Bale rode to Wales’ rescue once again as the captain’s late penalty salvaged a draw towards the United States in his country’s first World Cup online game for 64 years

Wales have been listless and overrun in a first half dominated by a vibrant USA team, who led as Tim Weah finished well after a surging run and cross by Christian Pulisic

The. half-time introduction of striker Kieffer Moore revitalised Wales, whose newfound vitality and function turned a one-sided affair into a genuine contest as Ben Davies and Moore the two came shut to equalising.

Then with 9 minutes left, the hitherto anonymous Bale was clattered in the field by Walker Zimmerman earlier than confidently whipping his penalty into the net to ship the travelling Welsh supporters behind that aim into raptures

Wales. finished the online game strongly, buoyed to have secured a level on their long-awaited World Cup return when they had appeared to be heading for a defeat which would have left them staring at an early exit from the competition

Instead,. Robert Page’s males will return to the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on Friday to face Iran – thrashed 6-2 by England earlier on Monday – understanding that victory would give them a likelihood of progressing to the second round

Wales. conclude the group stage towards England a week Tuesday but thoughts of that online game can wait as they savour this fightback and the good it will do for their hopes of extending their World Cup adventure

Wales. make their long-awaited return

This was a seismic moment for Wales, not solely in a footballing sense but in a broader historical context for a nation which has never enjoyed the worldwide consideration that comes with a modern-day World Cup.

No country had waited as long between a first and second visual appeal at the match as Wales had accomplished with their 64-year absence, a barren spell littered with painful tales of near misses

But. Wales are now in the midst of a golden era, ending their 58-year wait for a main match by qualifying for Euro 2016 – the place they reached a historic first semi-final – and backing that up by reaching the second circular of Euro 2020

World. Cup qualification continued to show elusive until Wales overcame Ukraine in their play-off final in June. After that moment of catharsis in the pouring Cardiff rain, this online game in Qatar was their return to football’s grandest stage in the dry warmth of the desert

However,. Wales’ first-half performance failed to match the magnitude of the occasion

They. have been sluggish to settle and severely disjointed towards their dynamic opponents, who seized the initiative in a first half which ought to have introduced them extra than one goal

The. States’ first likelihood came in the ninth minute when Weah’s powerful cross from the correct was headed in the direction of his personal aim by Joe Rodon but, happily for the Wales centre-back, it hit his goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey. That was not the finish of the danger although as, seconds later, Josh Sargent glanced a close-range header towards the post

Midfield. appeared to be the area of maximum concern for Wales, who surprisingly dropped striker Moore and started with Fulham playmaker Harry Wilson alongside the similarly attack-minded Aaron Ramsey in front of Ethan Ampadu, tasked with protecting the again three

The. thought appeared to be to match the USA’s striking midsection three of Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah and Tyler Adams – but it did not work as the disconnect between Wales’ defensive and attacking gamers observed them outmanoeuvred in this key battleground

That. was clear as the USA took the lead as Pulisic drove previous his opponents and threaded a fantastic through ball to Weah, who clipped the ball beyond the onrushing Hennessey with the outdoors of his correct boot

As. Wales left the area at half-time, the solely comfort they could take from such an abject monitor was the fact that they have been not further behind

Resurgent. Wales declare beneficial point

The official estimate of Welsh followers at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium was a seemingly conservative 3,000 and, though they have been outnumbered by Americans, the noise generated by the sea of crimson behind one aim reverberated with the strength of a home crowd

Their. rendition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the Welsh anthem, stirred the soul and, even as they watched their team outplayed in the first half, their assist was unwavering

There. was extra heft and perception to their roars, however, as Wales improved beyond recognition in the second half

Moore’s. introduction was pivotal to the shift in momentum. Whereas Wales had been directionless and barely able to string two passes together in the first half, after the break they attacked with readability now the in-form Bournemouth striker supplied a proper focal point

His. link-up play introduced Aaron Ramsey and Bale into the game, whereas Wales’ elevated time on the ball allowed wing-back Neco Williams to push forward

Wales’. first actual likelihood of the online game came in the sixty fourth minute as Tottenham defender Davies’ looping diving header was beautifully tipped over by Arsenal keeper Matt Turner. Then from the subsequent corner, Moore headed narrowly over

Wales. have been transformed, now protecting carry of the ball and forcing the USA – abruptly weak – on to the again foot

Rattled. the place they have been once in calm control, the USA’s loss of composure manifested itself in the concession of the penalty as Zimmerman clumsily slid in behind Bale

It. was to show a pricey mistake, which Bale punished with a ferocious left-footed spot-kick which whistled previous Turner on its manner into the net

That. prompted riotous celebrations between the Red Wall behind the aim and, whereas the players’ reaction at the final whistle was extra restrained, the satisfaction was evident as Wales avoided defeat to make a sturdy return to the World Cup

Player. of the match

WeahTimothy Weah

with an standard of 819



  1. Squad. number21Player nameWeahAverage rating


  2. Squad. number5Player nameRobinsonAverage rating


  3. Squad. number4Player nameAdamsAverage rating


  4. Squad. number1Player nameTurnerAverage rating


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  6. Squad. number11Player nameAaronsonAverage rating


  7. Squad. number2Player nameDestAverage rating


  8. Squad. number10Player namePulisicAverage rating


  9. Squad. number3Player nameZimmermanAverage rating


  10. Squad. number24Player nameSargentAverage rating


  11. Squad. number6Player nameMusahAverage rating


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