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United States, Wales draw 1-1; some tough lessons learned

There will be lessons ahead aplenty for this young United States team, almost completely turned over from its last World Cup appearance more than eight years ago. None perhaps will be more important than the heavy take-away from Monday’s 1-1 draw with Wales.

Being the spunky, aggressive side that starts bravely and takes a lead in a World Cup match is one thing. Finding the right combination of mettle and problem-solving composure in holding a lead is something completely different.

Strong start by US in first half

An impressive first half by the United States melted away into a tense exercise in hanging on, probably a fitting introduction to the crushing pressure of a World Cup. The premier difference makers – Christian Pulisic and Gareth Bale – made the difference with a goal or in the assist of one on either side of halftime.

The United States, under pressure to perform after missing out four years ago, could be forgiven for shuffling a bit nervously into the tournament. But there they were, Gregg Berhalter’s young men, looking the more poised team, managing matters courageously, calmly assured against the older Welsh side.

While the Americans could manufacture only a few early opportunities on goal before the break, they were always in control ahead of intermission. Pulisic’s 36th minute burst through midfield led to Timothy Weah’s classy finish, putting their side ahead.

Second half for United States-Wales was a different story

If only it had lasted more than a half.

Wales was in charge after the intermission, solving abundant midfield issues by going more direct, playing over and around that Tyler Adams-led U.S. midfield. Walker Zimmerman was clumsy into a late challenge against the wily Bale, who saw the tackle coming and beat the U.S. center back to the point of impact. From there, Bale was pinpoint perfect with his penalty kick, targeted with intent, no sign that the weight of a nation rested on one swing of his…

Source link : https://worldsoccertalk.com/news/united-states-wales-draw-1-1-some-tough-lessons-learned-20221121-WST-409245.html

Author : Steve Davis

Publish date : 2022-11-21 23:37:38

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