US settles for a 2022 World Cup draw after a late goal from Wales

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Instead, a poor second half, interrupted by a penalty conceded with 10 minutes remaining, saw them pick up just one point against Wales and walk into Friday’s game against England with the pressure on their shoulders again.

Instead, a poor second half, interrupted by a penalty conceded with 10 minutes remaining, saw them pick up just one point against Wales and walk into Friday’s game against England with the pressure on their shoulders again.

Gareth Bale pounded the equalizing goal past Matt Turner in the 81st minute after a sliding challenge from Walker Zimmerman that looked like the center back had simply forgotten his composure. The Americans had some trouble with the umpires earlier in the game, but this call was uncontroversial and the tackle itself almost unjustifiable.

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Tim Weah celebrates a goal against Wales.
UKTN
Matt Turner saves for the United States
Matt Turner saves for the United States
UKTN

Turner headed in the right direction on the penalty but Bale’s shot was too heavy and the player who led Wales to their first World Cup final since 1958 gave them their first goal on the sport’s biggest podium in 64 years.

The second half had just begun for the United States after a slew of substitutions from Gregg Berhalter, but playing for so long with a lead proved more than the Americans could handle in a shadowy group stage match against Portugal in 2014, when Cristiano Ronaldo equalized of Silvestre Varela in the 95th minute scored.

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However, in the group that died that year, such an outcome was survivable for the United States. It is not yet clear whether this will be the case, especially if the US fails to pick up a point against England on Friday.

Either way, on a night that started so promisingly at Al Rayyan Stadium, a draw feels like an undeniable disappointment.

Tim Weah opened the scoring with a finish past Wayne Hennessey in the middle of a dominant first half. The Americans, faced with a situation where they had to have possession and break through a defense, proved they could do that in the first 45 minutes.

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Gareth Bale celebrates his penalty goal for Wales
Gareth Bale celebrates his penalty goal for Wales
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The US celebrates Tim Weah's goal against Wales.
The US celebrates Tim Weah’s goal against Wales.
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Wales spent that time ceding space and hoping to catch the US in transition, gambling that their battle for possession would carry over to the World Cup after qualifying. They didn’t, and the US was, for a man, quick on the ball and pushing hard when they lost it.

Eventually, Pulisic found Weah in the backlog and the son of Liberia’s soccer hero scored the first goal for an American at the World Cup since Julien Green on July 1, 2014.

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