Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
alert top story
WORLD CUP

US draws 1-1 with Wales in team's World Cup opener; Americans face England next

  • Updated
  • 0

Gareth Bale converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute to offset Tim Weah’s first-half goal and give Wales a 1-1 draw Monday in the return to the World Cup for both nations.

Weah, a son of former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberian President George Weah, scored after a pass from Christian Pulisic in the 36th minute in Qatar.

Back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the United States appeared headed to victory. But Walker Zimmerman plowed down Bale from behind with the Welsh star’s back to the goal, and referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim of host Qatar pointed to the penalty spot.

Bale put his kick to the left of goalkeeper Matt Turner’s outstretched arm for his 41st goal in 109 international appearances, salvaging a point for Wales in its first World Cup match since 1958.

Next up for the United States is a high-profile matchup against England on Friday, the same day Wales faces Iran. England opened with a 6-2 rout of the Iranians earlier Monday.

Tim Weah, just 22, was part of a new-look American team that is the second-youngest in the tournament.

Pulisic, the top American player and one of the few holdovers from the 2017 qualifying failure, burst up the middle of the field in a move that led to the goal. Weah timed his run perfectly as Pulisic passed ahead, breaking in ahead of Neco Williams.

From near the penalty area, Weah used the side of his right foot to poke the ball over the left thigh of sliding goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey for his fourth goal in 26 international appearances.

Weah ran toward the American fans with arms extended and slid on both knees. He was mobbed by teammates, then raised both hands skyward and blew a kiss to the heavens.

George Weah, who never played in a World Cup, planned to be at the game.

Thousands of supporters in the Red Wall filled one end of the lower bowl and sang throughout.

In the 750th international match in United States history, the Americans started a record 10 players from European clubs, with only Zimmerman from Major League Soccer. DeAndre Yedlin, who entered in the 74th minute, was the only American player with previous World Cup experience.

Josh Sargent nearly put the Americans ahead in the 10th minute when he hit the post with a header from Antonee Robinson’s cross.

Ben Davies’ header in the 64th minute was pushed over the crossbar by a leaping Turner.

The match was played in the Arabian desert west of Doha at rebuilt Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, lit in brilliant colors and featuring an exterior facade meant to replicate undulating sand dunes.

The U.S. Soccer Federation sold about 3,300 tickets, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was on hand in the crowd of 43,418.

CARDED

Three Americans picked up yellow cards for rough tackles and would be suspended if assessed another: Sergiño Dest, Weston McKennie and Tim Ream.

YOUNG AT HEART

Yunus Musah at 19 years, 358 days, became the youngest American to start a World Cup match, 19 days younger than DaMarcus Beasley in 2022, and Tyler Adams at 23 became the youngest U.S. World Cup captain since Harry Keough and Walter Bahr in 1950.

RUST

Turner and Zimmerman played their first competitive matches in a month and McKennie — with newly dyed red, white and blue hair — his first since in three weeks. Ream was paired with Zimmerman in central defense, his first international appearance in 14 months.

For Wales, Hennessey played only his second match since late September and Bale made his second start in two months.

0 Comments
* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Japan scored twice early in the second half to come from behind to defeat Spain 2-1 in a result that put both teams into the last 16 of the World Cup. Ao Tanaka scored the winning goal from close range early in the second half. It took about two minutes for video review officials to confirm the ball hadn’t gone out of bounds before the goal. Álvaro Morata scored first for Spain in the 11th minute at Khalifa International Stadium. But Japan rallied after halftime. Ritsu Doan equalized in the 48th with a left-footed shot from outside the box. And Tanaka added the second one three minutes later. Germany was eliminated from the tournament even with a 4-2 win over Costa Rica in the other Group E match. A victory by Costa Rica would have eliminated Spain.

Robert Lewandowski finally scored at the World Cup. The 34-year-old striker helped Poland beat Saudi Arabia 2-0 and boost his team's chances of reaching the knockout stages. Lewandowski shed tears after scoring in the 82nd minute. It was his first World Cup goal in his fifth appearance at the tournament. Lewandowski also set up for the opener in the 40th minute when he kept the ball in play after goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais’ initial block and laid it back for Piotr Zielinski to knock in.

Germany was eliminated from the group stage of the World Cup for the second tournament in a row. The four-time champions beat Costa Rica 4-2 but it wasn’t enough to advance to the round of 16. Japan’s 2-1 victory over Spain allowed both of those teams to advance instead. The Japanese team finished at the top of the group. Germany also exited early while playing as defending champions at the last World Cup.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

News Alert