College Football & Soccer Analyst
AL RAYYAN, Qatar — This in all probability wasn’t how Walker Zimmerman envisioned his World Cup debut going.
It regarded just like the United States was going to get three factors in its opening group stage match towards Wales on Monday because it held a 1-0 lead for near 50 minutes. But a tough deal with by beginning heart again Zimmerman on Welsh star Gareth Bale within the penalty field within the 82nd minute finally doomed the Americans.
The referee blew his whistle and Bale, the Welsh captain who has been ready his complete life for this very second, drilled a penalty shot previous goalkeeper Matt Turner in entrance of hundreds of hopeful Welsh followers to tie the rating 1-1. That would find yourself being the ultimate tally.
Highlights: USA battles Wales to tie in World Cup opener
Tim Weah scored for the United States, however Gareth Bale countered for Wales in a 1-1 tie.
“Just disappointed with the nature of how the game played out,” Zimmerman stated afterward. “We had a great first half, getting the first goal and then being in a position with less than probably 15 minutes left to walk away with three points. It was a big game for us. It would have been amazing to get three.”
The U.S. males’s nationwide crew, the second-youngest squad on this event, regarded like veterans within the first half. The second wasn’t too large, they belonged on this international stage and managed the tempo towards a top quality European opponent. In the thirty sixth minute, star ahead Christian Pulisic made a run by the midfield and despatched a stellar by ball to Tim Weah, who completed off the play with a aim in his first World Cup match. The second was made further particular provided that his father, George Weah, who’s an African soccer legend and the present president of Liberia, was there watching.
[Must-read: Tim Weah fulfilling his father’s legacy at World Cup]
The USMNT held a 1-0 lead at halftime, however Wales made an adjustment by substituting 6-foot-5 striker Kieffer Moore into the sport instead of winger Daniel James. The Dragons rapidly bought right into a rhythm and held possession whereas the Americans grew pissed off, gassed and unable to maneuver the ball simply.
Even so, there was a way that the U.S. may maintain on to the win. That was till late within the sport when Zimmerman’s ill-advised deal with from behind despatched Bale, who was taking part in in his first World Cup at age 33 after Wales didn’t qualify the previous 64 years, to the penalty spot.
Gareth Bale scores on a penalty kick
Gareth Bale attracts a foul within the 82nd minute and scores off a penalty kick, bringing Wales and the USMNT to a 1-1 tie.
“The ball gets down to the end line, I see it get cut back and at that point, I’m dropping down and on the way to step out and clear the ball, I don’t see Bale coming across,” Zimmerman defined. “I think it was one of those where he probably just puts his leg, not for the ball, but to try to get in the way of me hitting the ball. So I kind of went through him and I think I still got the ball, but it was a clever move.
“I want I might have seen him out of the nook of my eye when attempting to clear the ball, however it was instinctive. It was fast. And I’m slightly bit pissed off by that. But generally these performs occur.”
[Why Walker Zimmerman is the leader the USMNT needs]
It was a tough moment for Zimmerman, but there’s not much else he could have done.
“I imply, in a great world you’re barely extra open and angled, and also you see him out of the nook of your eye and also you in all probability don’t go to floor for the ball and attempt to sit your toes, clearly,” Zimmerman said. “But within the second, you’re seeing the ball come throughout, you don’t see anybody there, and also you’re going to clear it.
“For him to put his leg in between [me and the ball], it’s clever.”
Zimmerman stated he’s already moved previous the play. He has to, with the U.S. now trying towards its match towards group favourite England on Friday.
[Next: USMNT vs. England on Friday at 2 p.m. ET; FOX and the FOX Sports app]
“You know, sometimes you just gotta shrug it off and roll with it,” Zimmerman stated. “It happened. Move forward. There’s not much time to dwell on it. It’s not the first PK I’ve given up and it’s not the last one I’ll ever give up. You can learn from it. I haven’t seen it back yet, so I’d like to see if there’s anything we could do differently, whether before or in my actions. Hopefully we correct those things going into the next game.”
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Laken Litman covers school soccer, school basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She beforehand wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the writer of “Strong Like a Woman,” revealed in spring 2022 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.
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