Wales’ return to World Cup football looked set to be an anticlimax for the country that had waited decades to be involved again. A familiar gentleman would ensure they got to celebrate the return with a late equalizer as the game ended 1-1.
– One million percent. He never lets us down, once again it’s about Gareth Bale, comments Wales head coach Rob Page to ITV.
The last time Wales participated in a soccer World Cup was 1958. 64 years later, the small nation of three million people is participating again.
Wales, who have been known as a team that likes to keep the ball, were expected to come hard into the match. For the entire first half, the USA would show the opposite.
The Americans were constantly dominant with the ball and created consecutive chances. Wales, led by superstar Gareth Bale, had trouble getting over half-field.
It took 36 minutes for Christian Pulisic to pass Timothy Weah – you read that right, the son of Ballon d’or winner George Weah – to a free-kick which he easily poked into the Welsh goal.
Wales woke up in the second half
Very little spoke for Wales after the first half performance.
But they would come with a completely different engine from the dressing room. Wales got more of the ball and managed to beat the Americans.
With only minutes left to play in regular time, Bale was brought down in the American penalty area after a headless tackle by an American defender and the referee did not hesitate to point to the penalty spot.
The same gentleman was probably the one who took the penalty – and put it bomb-proof past Matt Turner, everyday backup goalkeeper at Arsenal.
Wales celebrated their return with a vital point as they seek promotion from Group B, which also features Iran and arch-rivals England.