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United States 1-1 Wales: Match report, player ratings, fan reaction & more

The US and Wales shared the spoils after goals from Timothy Weah and a late penalty by Gareth Bale sees the two nations already trailing a rampant England

A crunch clash between the United States and Wales ended in a 1-1 draw tonight at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium as both nations are now looking above them in Group B after England’s 6-2 statement win against Iran earlier as the first full day of action comes to a close at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Goals from LOSC Lille’s Timothy Weah and LAFC’s Gareth Bale were enough for both sides to come away with a valuable if not frustrating point as both nations still has yet to face Gareth Southgate’s rampant Three Lions.

Weah certainly tapped into his bloodline tonight with a composed effort after being put through on goal by Christian Pulisic in the first half in a finish reminiscent of his father, Ballon d’Or winner and Africa’s best-ever export, George Weah, after he was called upon to slot into the XI by Gregg Berhalter over the likes of Brenden Aaronson and Gio Reyna.

But Weah’s strike in the first 45-minutes would not hold despite the United States producing some excellent moments during passage of play before national hero Gareth Bale ended up slamming home a thunderous second-half effort from the penalty spot to give Wales a deserved equalizer.

US defender Walker Zimmerman needlessly brought down Bale when the former Real Madrid and Tottenham man received the ball in the box but was back to goal, gifting the veteran forward a chance from 12-yards that he rarely misses.

Bale had a late chance to bag a brace when keeper Matt Turner came way off his line to clear before it fell to the Welsh icon on the halfway line, before LAFC clubmate Kellyn Acosta smartly brought down the forward before he could try a long-range chip over Turner’s head that would have undoubtedly been an early contender for goal of the tournament should he had found the back of the net.

United States Player Ratings

GK: Matt Turner (7) – An overall good outing from the second-choice Arsenal goalkeeper who justified his selection by Berhalter in a performance likely good enough to see him keep his place in the team.

RB: Sergiño Dest (6.5) – Much like the player he was tasked with matching up against in Dan James, Dest often relies on pace to make up the difference. Overall he had an okay outing but he certainly is probably a level below Antonee Robinson on the night.

CB: Walker Zimmerman (6) – Giving away a late penalty to Wales will not have done Zimmerman any favors after many US fans continue to question his selection in the XI.

CB: Tim Ream (6.5) – Veteran Tim Ream has put in a very good season with Fulham in the Premier League and overall that form was mostly seen tonight for the US. He was certainly better than Zimmerman.

LB: Antonee Robinson (7) – A real threat down the left flank for the US on both sides of the ball, it was a good all-action display from the Fulham fullback who is the unquestioned first-choice pick here.

DM: Tyler Adams (7.5) – He may not be the most physically imposing midfielder, but Tyler Adams’ intelligence during the run of play shone tonight for his country and he played the anchor role expertly.

CM: Yunus Musah (7) – A good outing from the young Valencia midfielder who has been billed as a young player to watch in Qatar, and he did not disappoint while displaying a strong ability to progress play on the ball.

CM: Weston McKennie (6.5) – One of the most talented options in the US squad, the Juventus midfielder has dealt with fitness concerns this season and it showed before his removal, but still, he was okay and there is more to come.

RW: Christian Pulisic (7) – A hard performance to judge from the Chelsea winger. Yes, he bagged the assist for Weah’s opener but overall many look to him to be the real catalyst of this team and he fell short in terms of consistency. A 7 might be generous.

LW: Timothy Weah (7) – Bagged a goal that would have made his father, the great George Weah, quite proud after the LOSC Lille forward put the United States deservedly ahead. Justified his selection in the XI.

CF: Josh Sargent (6.5) – Hitting woodwork will have left Norwich City’s Josh Sargent frustrated on a night he was given a surprise call in the XI. All things considered, he has an okay shift.

Sub: Brenden Aaronson (6)

Sub: Kellyn Acosta (6)

Sub: DeAndre Yedlin (5.5)

Sub: Haji Wright (6)

Sub: Jordan Morris (6)

Wales Player Ratings

GK: Wayne Hennessey (6.5) – Not at fault for Weah’s goal in any measure and was pretty solid in all manners of his game when called upon, though perhaps should have claimed or punched in certain moments when he got his decisions backward.

RCB: Chris Mepham (7)- A good night for Mepham who was not as troubled in certain phases of play as some maybe would have assumed given the pace in the forward line he was presented with.

CB: Joe Rodon (7) – Rodon, like Davies and Mepham, was good at the back and continues to suit how Wales prefers to operate off the ball. Weah’s goal came down to excellent off-ball movement on the back of pace so it’s hard to fault him here.

LCB: Ben Davies (7) – The versatile Tottenham defender performed admirably here for his country as he has done in quite a few outings in north London, and certainly gave Wales a measure of calm at the back when it was needed most.

RM: Connor Roberts (6.5) – Maybe not as effective as an outlet on the right as Williams was on the left in certain ways, but Roberts put in a decent shift all things considered.

CM: Ethan Ampadu (6.5) – Sitting at the base of the midfield is a more familiar role for Ampadu than when he features at club level in defense but he was pretty solid throughout before being subbed off.

CM: Aaron Ramsey (6.5) – Won’t get credit for an assist after his ball to Bale ended up seeing him brought down in the area, but Ramsey was okay overall. He is clearly past his best, however, and Wales has a long-term question on its hands.

LM: Neco Williams (6.5) – An average night from the Nottingham Forest left-back who has some good spells during the run of play with his ability to get forward but was still lacking in the decision-making department.

RF: Harry Wilson (7) – Wilson was good on both sides of the ball all night and displayed a good measure of intelligence and an ability to link play when he was able. Deserves to keep his place.

CF: Gareth Bale (7.5) – A clutch effort from the penalty spot saw Bale bag a point for his country as he remains as influential as ever for Wales, and many will ask what could have been if he was not brought down by Kellyn Acosta late on.

LF: Dan James (6) – In the team for his undisputed pace, James struggled to make a real impact in wide spaces and was often isolated and overloaded with markers.

Sub: Kieffer Moore (6.5)

Sub: Brennan Johnson (6.5)

Sub: Sorba Thomas (6)

Sub: Joe Morrell (6)

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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