Wales footballers are at the World Cup for the first time in 64 years and take a point in Group B after a 1-1 draw with the USA. Timothy Weah put the young American team in front in the first half, but after an improved performance, the Welsh equalised in the 82nd minute through a penalty from captain Gareth Bale. England lead Group B after the first round.
The USA players will face England, which was beaten 6-2 by Iran in the afternoon match, in the second round of the “B” round on Friday in Chur. The latter will take on Wales in Rajjan on the same day.
In the ninth minute, the Welsh nearly scored an own goal when Rodon’s header was cleared by Hennessey. Nottingham’s goalkeeper was saved by the bar after Sargent’s quick header.
The Americans gained a big lead and opened the scoring in the 36th minute. After a quick action, Pulisic’s pass behind the defence found the onrushing Weah, who finished with a ground shot. The 22-year-old Lille striker and son of former famous striker and current Liberian president George Weah scored on his World Cup debut.
The Welsh entered the second half much more active and pushed the opponents hard at times. After an hour of play, goalkeeper Turner pulled back a header from Ben Davies and his substitute teammate Moore headed past the crossbar.
Just when it looked like the Americans had tied the game, Zimmerman fouled Bale in the back of the hexagon and the Los Angeles FC winger equalized from a penalty kick in the 82nd minute. Thirty-three-year-old Bale also scored on his World Cup debut, taking the Welsh top scorer’s tally to 41 national team goals.
Johnson could have completed the turnaround, but he failed to surprise Turner with a shot from an angle. The next big chance didn’t come in the nine-minute mark. “The Dragons stretched their winless streak to six games, the Americans were winless for the fourth consecutive game.