- The uncompromising Americans were quick to pounce on their rivals, making it difficult for them to play the ball in the half. They took advantage in the first half
- Timothy Weah scored in the 36th minute after a great pass from Christian Pulisic.
- In the second half, Wales equalized through a Gareth Bale penalty
- The English are the clear favorites in Group B, which is why the evening meeting is so important for the Americans and the Welsh, given their rivalry with Gareth Southgate’s team, who have gone fast in Qatar.
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The Americans underwent a major overhaul after failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia four years ago. The recipe for success should be Greg Berhalter, who took over the “Yankees” team in December 2018. Although the US coach doesn’t have much coaching experience, he has played 44 matches with the senior national team and knows what he is doing. It means playing in the World Cup. Twenty years ago, he was one of 23 players drafted by Bruce Arena for the World Cup in Korea and Japan. He played two matches and their team progressed to the knockout stage, celebrating m.in. Portugal. Ultimately, Arena’s team ended their adventure with the Asian World Cup in the quarterfinals, and Berhalter played in the 1/8 and 1/4 finals. The 49-year-old traveled to Germany for the World Cup with the US team in 2006, but has not played in a tournament since.
Berhalter, after taking over as coach, had to face a difficult task, i.e. a generational change. He is not afraid of changes. It was announced a few days ago that 23-year-old Tyler Adams will captain the US national team during the World Cup. The coach made the announcement at a press conference on Sunday. “Tyler is a lad who is mature beyond his years and you notice that as soon as you start talking to him. We think he has great leadership skills,” he praised the Leeds United man. The 23-year-old will be the youngest captain of the “Yankees” in the World Series since 1950. In his representative career, he played 10 of 32 matches with the captain’s armband.
Wales had waited 64 years to play in a World Cup. In Sweden in 1958, they ended their World Cup participation in the quarter-finals, losing 0:1 to Brazil. Robert Page’s men qualified for the tournament in Qatar as the last team from Europe to beat Ukraine 1-0 in the final of the play-offs.
For both teams, the opening encounter at the Qatar World Cup is crucial as England are clear favorites to exit Group B from second place. Gareth Southgate’s men did not manage in the last matches of the Nations League, but they played against the strongest teams of the old continent. Today, in the first match of the World Cup, they easily defeated the national team of Iran and got three points.
From the start of the game, the Welsh had problems exchanging two or three passes. Berhalder’s men were the dominant side on the pitch, opting for a collective game. The first two dangerous situations were created by the Americans in the 9th and 10th minutes. Josh Sargent has scored twice in his first World Cup. First, Weah, after an excellent through pass, nailed the Testa central striker, resulting in Hennessy having to intervene, and several dozen seconds later, this time from the left, Robinson headed the 22-year-old Norwich player, but again the Wales goalkeeper was in position.
“Yankees” tried to quickly jump on opponents, they made it difficult to get the ball out and closed the passing line. They tried to outplay the Welsh in every area of the pitch, playing high in defense and taking risks. Despite a withdrawn and largely passive Wales team, the Americans were finally able to find more space, and Timothy Weah capitalized on Pulisic’s excellent through-pass to put himself on the scoresheet in the 36th minute.
The roles were reversed in the second half. The Welsh started to get a rhythm, seizing the initiative and trying to force the opposition out of their half. The men of the side launched further attacks. After one of them, one of the defenders, Ben Davies, had a great chance to equalise, but Turner made a great save. A dozen or so seconds later, a substitute headed in a corner kick Kiefer Moore but he hits the bar. The Welshmen caused their rivals the most problems after their attacking moves down the left wing, where Nego Williams showed himself so well that he was clearly displeased in the last quarter of an hour when he was replaced by the coach.
In the 80th minute, a late Zimmerman interfered in the penalty area and fouled Gareth Bale. The referee ordered 11 for the Welsh, which was converted by their captain. Both teams took the initiative and tried to get three points till the end, but in the end they had to share the points.
After the first round of matches, England lead Group B with three points. Wales and USA have a point each, and Iran close the table.
USA – Wales 1-1 (1-0)
Objectives: 1-0 Vea (36th), 1-1 Bale (82nd penalty)
Yellow Cards: Test (11th), McKenney (13th), Ream (51st) – Bale (40th), Mebham (45+2)
USA: Matthew Turner – Anthony Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, Tim Ream, Sergino Test (74. DeAndre Yedlin) – Weston McKenney (66. Brendan Aaronson), Tyler Adams, Yunus Musa (74. Kellin Acosta) – Tim Jay Weah (88), Josh Sergeant (74th Haji Wright), Christian Pulisic
Wales: Wayne Hennessey – Chris Mebham, Joe Roden, Ben Davies – Connor Roberts, Ethan Ampadu (90+5 Joe Morel), Aaron Ramsey, Nego Williams (79. Brennan Johnson) – Harry Wilson (90+3 Sorba Thomas), Gareth Bale, Daniel James (46th Kiefer Moore)
Judge: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar)
Assistant Referees: Taleb Al-Marri, Saud Al-Maqale (Qatar)
Technical Judge: Ning Ma (China)
VAR/AVAR: Abdullah Al-Marri (Qatar), Redouane Zied (Morocco)
Audience at Ar-Rajan: 43418
Date Created: Yesterday, 22:00
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