22nd November 2022 – (Doha) Wales captain Gareth Bale’s late penalty helped his team manage a 1-1 draw with the United States in Group B of the 2022 FIFA World Cup here on Monday at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.
Wales returned to the World Cup finals for the first time in 64 years, while the U.S. were back after missing Russia 2018.
The Americans started on the front foot and Josh Sargent’s header from the left of the box hit the woodwork in the 10th minute.
Their efforts were rewarded in the 36th minute as Timothy Weah broke the deadlock with a smart right-footed shot, assisted by Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic.
In the second half, Wales pressed hard for an equalizer but two headers from Ben Davies and Kieffer Moore were denied by goalkeeper Matt Turner.
Bale drew a foul in the penalty area and converted it to level the score in the 82nd minute. Neither side could manage to win the game in the remaining minutes.
“I think obviously the first half was great. We didn’t score as many as we probably should have,” said Turner. “The second half was disappointing that we let them in the game so much. There was a lot of pressure, but we’re handling quite well with our center-back playing really well. Then the penalty came and they got the big game player and I wasn’t able to turn that around the post unfortunately.”
“The game was very physical. I was a bit disappointed with the amount of yellow cards. They could really change the game,” said Turner.
Bale commented on the game in the post match conference that Wales did a good job in the second half and he was very happy to score the key goal for the team.
“I know the goal was exactly what we need. It didn’t matter who scored it, but we need to get back in the game. That was important,” said Bale. “Personally, it was great to get a goal, but the most important thing was the team scored.”
Wales will meet Iran in the next match on Friday and the United States will challenge England on the same day.