Any United States men’s national team fan who had forgotten the intensity that comes with every gripping moment of the FIFA World Cup will have been deeply reminded of those highs and lows in a 1-1 draw with Wales on Monday in Qatar.
The Yanks took a deserved lead through Timothy Weah but couldn’t escape a dodgy second half as Walker Zimmerman gave a penalty away to Gareth Bale and the Welsh legend delivered an equalizer.
First Half Heroics
As the half wore on, the Americans put on their best performance in ages as they dominated possession, in the good way that looked dangerous - not the create zero shots way, and kept Wales from doing much of anything.
After Wales played a long ball forward that Bale was dispossessed of, the Yanks poured up field as a pass was played to Christian Pulisic. The Chelsea attacker charged forward and played a through ball to the feet of Timothy Weah who sent a shot smoother than a perfectly buttered Thanksgiving turkey past Wayne Hennessey to give the USA a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute.
The second 45.
Upon restarting, Wales made a change to bring in Kieffer Roberto Francisco Moore for Daniel James giving a bigger presence on the field and help hold up the ball when they managed to push forward. Wales also came out more determined to hold onto the ball and create through possession rather than just hit on the counter in the half. In fact, in the first 10 minutes of the half Y Dreigiau out possessed the USA by 37.5%.
In the 75th minute Berhalter made a line change as Kellyn Acosta, Haji Wright, and DeAndre Yedlin came on for Yunus Musah, Josh Sargent, and Sergino Dest. A few minutes later, Wales would make a change also with forward Brennen Johnson coming in for right back Nico Williams.
The refereeing would again be a factor in the game as Walker Zimmerman... absolutely cleaned out Bale in the box and was called for a foul in the 80th minute. Gareth Bale stepped up and this time the cranberry sauce ended up in the back of the net as Wales equalized with less than 10 minutes in regular time.
The USMNT Lives to Fight Another Day
The Americans pushed forward to find a game winner but mostly sent hopeful crosses into the area. Just before the end of regulation, Jordan Morris checked in for Tim Weah as nine minutes were added for injury time. Those minutes would be back and forth and filled with the USA sending the ball forward and hitting a hopeful cross, players of each team falling down and needing to come off to recover perhaps in a bid to waste time, and not much else.
Finally, the last whistle was sounded and the match ended with the USA and Wales splitting the points with a 1-1 draw.