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USA 1-1 Wales: Talking points as Bale helps Wales fend off strong American offensive

The USA and Wales shared the spoils in their opening match of the World Cup Group B. Young Timothy Weah, the son of the legendary George Weah, broke the deadlock for his team in the 36th minute to crown a dominating display from the Americans, but it was Wales icon Gareth Bale who won a penalty and converted it to set the score level in the 82nd.

The game

The USA were set up in a rather attacking version of 4-3-3, with Matt Turner in goal, Walker Zimmermann and Tim Ream in the heart of defence flanked by Sergino Dest and Antonee Robinson. Adam Tyler anchored the midfield with Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah in the mix, and upfront, Josh Sargent started centrally with Christian Pulisic and Weah in support.

Meanwhile, Rob Page selected a very defensive 5-3-2 shape, with Bale and Dan James leading the line upfront, obviously aiming to strike through the pace of the two wingers with no recognized striker on the pitch. In the middle,  Ethan Ampadu was joined by Harry Wilson and Aaron Ramsey. The wall in front of Wayne Hennessey’s goal was formed by Joe Rodon, Chris Mepham and Ben Davies as the three centre-backs, with Neco Williams and Connor Roberts on the flanks.

The fact that the Americans failed to take all the points from this clash seems a bit harsh of Gregg Berhalter and his men. They entered the contest strongly and dominated from the start, forcing the Welsh to spend large chunks of the first half defending for their lives. It could be that Page had instructed Williams and Roberts to push higher and occasionally help form the 3-5-2 shape, but if so, they were completely pinned back by Dest and Weah on one side and Robinson and Pulisic on the other. The Chelsea star did, however, frequently went inwards to create in the manner of a No. 10, and that tendency of his brought the opening goal.

Embed from Getty Images

It was none other than Pulisic who threaded a fantastic pass through the Welsh lines, and there was nothing Hennessey could…


Source link : https://www.soccernews.com/usa-1-1-wales-talking-points-as-bale-helps-wales-fend-off-strong-american-offensive/345604/

Author : Veselin Trajkovic

Publish date : 2022-11-22 20:36:13

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