US, Wales World Cup match ends in draw

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The star player of Wales, Gareth Bale, struck with a penalty in the 82nd minute to score the equaliser…reports Asian Lite News

An eventful second day of the World Cup in Qatar wrapped up with the match between US and Wales ending in a 1-1 draw at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, some 20 km from Doha.

While the Americans piled up pressure on the Welsh through the match giving scant ball possession as Timothy Weah scored in the 36th minute, Wales tried to make a comeback into the game in the second half.

Six yellow cards were shown by match referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim in a match that saw several fouls and exchanges among players.

The star player of Wales, Gareth Bale, struck with a penalty in the 82nd minute to score the equaliser.

Wales have made it to the World Cup after a gap of 64 years. And it showed in the eyes of Welsh fans in the stands after Bale’s successful shot.

Earlier in the day, the Iranian team was under the spotlight as players remained silent as their national anthem was being played ahead of the match against England at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha.

There were also reports in the international media questioning the Iranian team’s decision not to evacuate their goalkeeper from the field after he suffered a bloody collision with his teammate. Alireza Beiranvand was substituted subsequently after suffering an injury in the eighth minute of the match. He was carried away from the field on a stretcher after unsuccessfully trying to play on after colliding with Hosseini Majid.

Iran lost to England 2-6. In a post-match press conference, Iran’s head coach Carlos Queiroz said his side deserved to lose as the players were no match for the pace of the English team members, Qatar news agency reported.

‘Late penalty is a game-changer’

Thanks to captain Gareth Bale’s late penalty, Wales held the United States to a 1-1 drew in their opening match of the FIFA World Cup. Wales head coach Rob Page called the valuable equaliser a real game-changer.

During the post-match press conference held at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Tuesday, Page said it was important not to lose the first game.

“The first game is important for us. We kept a draw, and now we just focus on the next game,” he said, adding that the Red Dragons showed character and determination to come back and get a point.

“(Bale)’s never let us down,” he said, reports Xinhua.

“He’s very good at finding those spaces, so he puts himself in those positions in the box to be able to get us penalties, and defenders commit to making tackles, and if they don’t get their timing right in the box, inevitably it’s a penalty,” he added.

Page conveyed confidence when speaking of the next two matches, particularly the game against Group B favourites England.

“If you look on the bench now, we’ve got Brennan Johnson playing in the Premier League, he came on and made an impact. Kieffer Moore came on and made an impact. We have strength in depth, I can look over my shoulder to the bench and we’ve got players who can come on and have a real impact on games,” he said. Wales face Iran in their second Group B game on Friday.

US COACH ‘OKAY WITH THE DRAW’

United States head coach Gregg Berhalter praised his players following their 1-1 draw against Wales in the team’s opening World Cup game.

“It didn’t look like a team playing in their first World Cup. They looked mature, especially in the first half,” Berhalter said.

He added that he felt okay with the draw because his players had given it their all. “It was a hard-fought game. We left everything out there,” he said.

The United States took an early lead after 22-year-old Timothy Weah scored the opening goal before a Gareth Bale penalty tied the game at 1-1 in the 82nd minute.

“I think we lost a little bit of power. But in the same sense Wales stepped up their pressure,” Berhalter said. “And we had some good counterattacking opportunities. We kept going right to the end.”

On Friday, the U.S. play against England, who notched an emphatic 6-2 victory in their opening match against Iran.

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