United States 1-1 Wales: Player Rating as Bale penalty secures deserved draw on long-awaited World Cup return


Gareth Bale scored an 82nd-minute penalty to salvage a point for Wales in their first World Cup game since 1958.

Wales had talisman Gareth Bale to thank once again as their captain won and scored a penalty to salvage a 1-1 draw with the United States at the World Cup.

The USA controlled the first half of Monday’s encounter at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, but Bale – Wales’ record goalscorer and top scorer at major tournaments – stepped up when it mattered to ensure the Dragons’ first World Cup game since 1958 did not end in defeat. .

Timothy Weah gave the USA a deserved first-half lead when he scored at the World Cup when his famous father – 1995 Ballon d’Or winner George – never got to play in one.

But Bale, largely anonymous before his late display, drew a reckless tackle from Walker Zimmerman and duly smashed home the resulting spot-kick to seal a share of the Group B spoils.

The USA should have been rewarded for a strong start inside 10 minutes when Josh Sargent hit the post from close range after Wayne Hennessey had saved Joe Rodon’s blushes and prevented an own goal.

But Wales succumbed to the pressure in the 36th minute. Christian Pulisic brilliantly found Weah from a quick counter-attack, who slotted past Hennessey with ease.

The introduction of Kieffer Moore in place of Daniel James was the catalyst for Wales’ improvement.

Ben Davies forced Matt Turner into a good save with a diving header, with Moore heading over from the ensuing corner.

With Brenden Aaronson fluffed at the other end, Wales got their lifeline when Zimmerman clumsily tackled Bale, who – with eight minutes remaining – struck an unstoppable free-kick into the right-hand corner to set up a huge Wales mass. fans behind the goal to enjoy a moment

1. USA (4-3-3)

GK: Matt Turner – 6/10 – Didn’t have too much to do but still nearly made a meal of a corner. Made a couple of decent saves late on.

RB: Sergino Dest – 5/10 – Failed to contribute much at either end.

CB: Walker Zimmerman – 3/10 – Imperious for the most part until he slid right through Bale for no reason.

CB: Tim Ream – 6/10 – Excellent for the most part, though was booked for a rather cynical foul.

LB: Antonee Robinson – 6/10 – Galloped up and down the left flank with freedom.

DM: Tyler Adams – 6/10 – Dictated superbly in the first half but was a bit swamped in the second when Wales finally decided to start playing.

CM: Yunus Musah – 7/10 – His winger skillset came in handy, wriggling out of tight areas and progressing up the pitch.

CM: Weston McKennie – 7/10 – More often than not was the one to join Weah down the right flank as opposed to Dest. Brought great energy on and off the ball.

RW: Tim Weah – 7/10 – The source of the USA’s early creativity was rewarded with a goal. His Ballon d’Or winning father will have been proud with the finish.

CF: Josh Sargent – 6/10 – Dropped deep to drag Rodon out of position to great effect.

LW: Christian Pulisic – 7/10 – It wasn’t the best game he’ll ever play but Pulisic was the USA’s star player anyways, driving right at Wales time and time again.

SUB: Brenden Aaronson (66′ for McKennie) – 5/10

SUB: DeAndre Yedlin (74′ for Dest) – 5/10

SUB: Haji Wright (74′ for Sargent) – 4/10

SUB: Kellyn Acosta (74′ for Musah) – 4/10

Manager: Gregg Berhalter – 5/10 – The USMNT were great in the first half but Berhalter’s changes did little to help cope with Wales’ fightback.

2. Wales (3-5-2)

GK: Wayne Hennessey – 5/10 – Got the nod over Danny Ward and didn’t do a lot wrong.

CB: Chris Mepham – 7/10 – Wales’ best defender, notably keeping out Pulisic with an excellent slide tackle on the hour mark.

CB: Joe Rodon – 5/10 –
 Punished for pushing up and trying to win possession for USA’s opener. Improved like most of his teammates after the break.

CB: Ben Davies – 6/10 – A bit sloppy in possession and looked leggy against the Americans’ pacy forwards.

RM: Connor Roberts – 5/10 – Gained confidence after Moore was brought on but still found it hard to be effective.

CM: Ethan Ampadu – 6/10 – Made some poor choices at the base of midfield, but tried extremely hard and defended well.

CM: Aaron Ramsey – 6/10 – Took no responsibility in the first 45, but stepped up a bit more when he had a focal point in Moore to play off of when moving forward.

CM: Harry Wilson – 6/10 – Drifted out to the wing at times to create overloads. His set piece delivery was exquisite.

LM: Neco Williams – 5/10 – Showed great endeavour to continually run at the USA, but his technical qualities didn’t match his physical ones.

CF: Gareth Bale – 7/10 – Anonymous in the first half but looked a lot more dangerous with Moore alongside him.

CF: Dan James – 3/10 – Bullied off the ball with ease in his 45 minutes on the pitch.

SUB: Kieffer Moore (46′ for James) – 8/10 – Wales’ best player and the catalyst by their improved second half. Caused the USA all sorts of problems.

SUB: Brennan Johnson (79′ for Williams) – 7/10

SUB: Sorba Thomas (90′ for Wilson) – N/A

SUB: Joe Morrell (90′ for Ampadu) – N/A

Manager: Rob Page – 6/10 – The decision not to play Moore from the start was called into question and Wales’ dreadful first half proved Page’s critics right. At least he actually got on the pitch.

Player of the Match – Kieffer Moore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *