Final USMNT vs. Wales score: USA kicks off Qatar World Cup campaign with a draw after Gareth Bale’s late penalty

The United States celebrated their return to the World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Wales to open their Group B play Excellent goal from Tim Weah In the first half it was later canceled out by converting a Gareth Bale penalty late in the second half with the two teams splitting the points. It’s a draw that doesn’t look so great considering the Americans looked so sharp in the first 45 minutes thanks to a fine volley from Christian Pulisic that helped put the team ahead.

But the second half was a very different story as the Welshman improved in the game and Greg Berhalter’s side were on their toes. With less than 10 minutes left, Walker Zimmermann, who had been excellent that day, fouled Bale in the box to concede a penalty. Big saves were needed from Turner’s Matt Turner that night, and while he did get a bit of a penalty from Bell, the ball was hit too hard to save. This might have seemed like a missed opportunity when three points would have put Wales and Iran on the brink of elimination. Instead, the Americans will lick their wounds and prepare for Black Friday against England at 2pm ET.

Here are some points obtained from the match:

Great wake-up call in the second half

In Concacaf, that kind of performance would probably have been enough to get three points, but mistakes are penalized when you’re on the biggest stage. This isn’t a playoff, and all it took was one forgotten tackle from Zimmermann to spoil an excellent game as Bale slotted the penalty into the net.

Tyler Adams was thrown off Bell’s ownership late on and kicked by Clean Acosta to stop an open goal opportunity. It appears that these moments can go both ways, but the biggest of the night depends on Geo Reina’s availability.

Back to full fitness for Borussia Dortmund, Reina could have made the difference at the end of the game when the United States were pushing things forward. But Berhalter used Tim Weah’s Jordan Morris as his secondary episode. He told reporters after the match that Reyna would be available for the England game, suggesting his status was uncertain for the opening match. Morris, who had been on the court for 11 minutes, didn’t have much time to make an impact. He only had three touchdowns and failed to complete any of the crosses. The contribution wasn’t good enough in his short time on the field.

Overall, the USMNT is still in good shape to make it to the Round of 16, but they’ve just made the job much more difficult. Even if England sweep their matches, the US will only need to improve Wales’s result against Iran to get through to the next stage, so it’s not all bleak after this setback. If Wales somehow lose to Iran and England beat the USA, we could be in for a win-and-pass game to close out the group, at which point the USMNT will still be in control of their fate.

Pulisic must be healthy

Wales’ goal was to kick Pulisic to the ground so that he would have no effect. Somehow an official foul was made four times during the match, and for the most part, Wales’ game plan worked. But when Josh Sargent headed a ball into his path, allowing him to drift centrally, Pulisic shone with his dribbling and Weah played in the first goal of the game.

While his consistent gameplay leaves a lot to be desired, there aren’t many players in the national team who are capable of opening up a game like Pulisic. He completed the match against Wales but was clearly struggling with constant challenges. Against England, he will need to come straight back to dribble up the backline or the chances of victory are greatly reduced. It’s worth keeping an eye on his condition in the next match just four days later.

Oh captain, my captain

Tyler Adams was excellent. He was there at every turn when the United States needed someone to break down plays and watch Bell. He also confirmed that all of his passes landed in the right place. It’s easy to take Adams for granted at times because he’s such a consistent performer, but in the World Cup and Wearing the armband at such an early ageHis star was shining brightest. Adams won with three tackles and had two interceptions while helping protect his defense. Having Tim Ream behind him made things easier because Adams didn’t have to go overboard knowing someone could clean up attacks.

Would you like more World Cup coverage? Listen below and follow Heroes Housethe daily CBS Sports football podcast, brings you first-class analysis, commentary, picks and more during the big matches in Qatar.

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You can find full The US men’s national team schedule is hereand the The entire World Cup schedule in Qatar is here. Keep up with who scores goals and assists, all our long leagues World cup stats page as well.

  • Monday, November 21: USMNT 1, Wales 1
  • Friday, November 25: England vs. USMNT, 2pm EST (Fox, Telemundo)
  • Tuesday, November 29: Iran vs. USMNT, 2 p.m. EST (Fox, Telemundo).


Group B deputy World Digital Library jd points
England 1 1-0-0 +4 3
United State 1 0-1-0 0 1
Wells 1 0-1-0 0 1
Iran 1 0-0-1 -4 0

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