Nov. 21 (UPI) — The United States Men’s National Team held a 1-0 first-half lead, but surrendered a second-half penalty to pocket a draw with Wales in their 2022 World Cup opener Monday at Al Rayyan Stadium in Ar-Rayyan, Qatar. Forward Tim Weah scored for the Americans in the Group B match. Forward Gareth Bale scored for Wales.
Nov. 21 (UPI) — The United States Men’s National Team held a 1-0 first-half lead, but surrendered a second-half penalty to pocket a draw with Wales in their 2022 World Cup opener Monday at Al Rayyan Stadium in Ar-Rayyan, Qatar.
Forward Tim Weah scored for the Americans in the Group B match. Forward Gareth Bale scored for Wales.
“I think we lost a little bit of power,” U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter told Fox. “In the same sense, Wales stepped up their pressure.
“I felt the guys dealt with it well. It was a hard-fought game. We left everything out there.”
Neither side scored through most of the first half. U.S. striker Christian Pulisic then took control in the 36th minute.
Pulisic darted across midfield to gain control of a loose ball and spark the sequence. He then dribbled between several defenders and slipped a pass into the box for Weah.
Weah used the outside of his right boot to lace a first-touch shot past Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey.
The Americans kept the lead until the 82nd minute. That score was prompted when defender Walker Zimmerman slid in from behind Bale, knocking him to the ground inside the box.
Bale completed the successful penalty kick with a blast into the upper-right portion of the net. Neither team managed to find the net for the remainder of the match. The Americans and Wales each were rewarded with one point for the draw.
“In the first half, we had lots of energy and momentum,” Weah said. “In the second half, we kinda dialed down and Wales turned it up a notch.
“We have to come out there stronger.”
The Americans will battle England in their second Group B game of the Qatar World Cup at 2 p.m. EST Friday at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. They will then play Iran in their Group B finale at 2 p.m. Nov. 29 at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.
Wales will meet Iran at 5 p.m. Friday at Al Rayyan Stadium in Ar-Rayyan. They will battle England at 2 p.m. Nov. 29 in Ar-Rayyan.
England beat Iran 6-2 in their first Group B match Monday in Doha. They lead Group B, ahead of the USA and Wales, who are tied for second. The Top 2 teams from each of the eight groups will advance to the knockout stage Round of 16.
The Netherlands beat Sengal 2-0 in a Group A match Monday in Al Thumama. Ecuador beat Qatar 2-0 in another Group A match to open the tournament Sunday in Al Khor.
The 2022 World Cup group stage will run through Dec. 2. The tournament will end with the final match Dec. 18 in Lusail, Qatar.
Games will air on Fox and FS1, with Spanish broadcasts available on Telemundo and Universo.