World Cup: USA can’t hold lead, draw Wales 1-1
The USA National Team kicked off its first World Cup campaign in EIGHT YEARS with a 1-1 draw against Wales. The Americans were firmly in the driver’s seat for the majority of the match, even seeing Tim Weah net the first goal courtesy of a splendid through ball from Christian Pulisic. Unfortunately, one goal wasn’t enough for the Yanks, as Gareth Bale buried the equalizer from the penalty spot.
Group B Standings after Matchday 1:
It was certainly a disappointing draw for the USA considering we could have walked away with three points. Gregg Berhalter surprisingly came in with a solid gameplan to exploit the space left by Wales, but of course, nothing lasts forever. This match had moments of both brilliance and befuddlement, so let’s take a look at how it all shook out.
36′ – Weah takes the 1-0 lead for the USA:
Weah became the first player to score against Wales at the World Cup since Brazilian great Pele.
As usual, Telemundo’s commentators made the English broadcast sound like a eulogy:
65′ – Matt Turner with an acrobatic dive to save a certain Wales goal:
82′ – Gareth Bale continues to torture me with another timely goal, this time a penalty from an awful foul inside the box:
What went wrong:
First of all, we were never winning this game 1-0. Landon Donovan mentioned during the halftime show that the second goal would decide the outcome, and that is exactly what happened.
Gregg Berhalter’s second-half substitutions were questionable at best. Brenden Aaronson and Kellyn Acosta were the only two substitutes that made any impact on the match, and Acosta only made the list because he stopped a potential game-winning goal with a foul.
Gio Reyna not seeing the field at all was a completely bogus move. Jordan Morris was fun when the team wasn’t seriously competing for anything but a Gold Cup, but Reyna is a goal scoring and creating talent we desperately missed at the end of the match.
Don’t even get me started on DeAndre Yedlin.
Not only were the Yanks not committed to creating that second goal, but Wales managed to create pressure via their talisman Gareth Bale, who drew one of the dumbest fouls I’ve ever seen on the world stage to eventually equalize.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as sick of the Bale hype as the next guy, but he went out and showed yet again that this Wales side is completely hopeless without him. I’ve been a massive fan of his since he was at Tottenham and think he got a raw deal at Madrid, but this stat-line hurts to see when it’s against my Red, White, & Blue.
If you are a Philadelphia Union fan, you pretty much knew this was going to happen late in a close match. It sucks that after supporting Bale for so long throughout his turbulent career, he’s turned around and shit on everything I love. If I had a marriage, I’m sure he’d ruin that too.