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USA 1-1 Wales: Player ratings as Bale nets late equaliser

Gareth Bale smashed home a late penalty as Wales picked up a draw against United States in their opening World Cup game.

The first opportunity of the game fell to the Stars and Stripes, and it’s one that perhaps they ought to have done better with.

Antonee Robinson’s cross found Josh Sargent at the front post, but the Norwich City man could only direct his header onto the outside of the frame.

USA continued to dominate, and their pressure eventually produced the opening goal. Christian Pulisic burst through the middle and slipped a ball through to Timothy Weah, who poked past Wayne Hennessey and into the bottom right corner.

It was a difficult first half for Rob Page’s men. When the half time whistle went, they had racked up just two attempts, with neither hitting the target.

The Dragons improved after the break and twice came close to netting an equaliser. Ben Davies saw his header turned over the crossbar by Matt Turner, and substitute Kieffer Moore headed over from the resulting corner when he ought to have scored.

But they were not left to rue their missed chances, as they managed to bag an equaliser. Gareth Bale was brought down by Walker Zimmerman, and the former Real Madrid man picked himself up and slammed his penalty into the top corner.

Wales looked like the more likely side to nick a winner, while not creating anything too clear-cut. Brennan Johnson had the best chance of the closing exchanges, firing straight at Turner from a tight angle after bursting into the box.

The draw keeps both sides in second and third, with England first and Iran in fourth after their earlier clash. The next round of fixtures in Group B are on Friday, November 25.

USA

Matt Turner (6/10) – Rarely tested and had little chance with Bale’s penalty. Made one good save from Davies.

Sergino Dest (6/10) – Defended well enough, but didn’t contribute much going forward.

Tim Ream (6/10) – Dealt with Bale well for the most part. Didn’t get beaten too often.

Walker Zimmerman (5/10) – Carelessly conceded a penalty which cost his side the three points.

Antonee Robinson (7/10) – Provided some threat down the left. Could have had an assist early on.

Tyler Adams (6/10) – Won a few tackles and looked good on the ball. Wasn’t able to maintain control as the game went on.

Weston McKennie (7/10) – Played a key role in USA’s first-half dominance. Faded in the second half before being substituted.

Yunus Musah (7/10) – Energetic in the middle of the park and good in possession.

Christian Pulisic (7/10) – Drifted in and out of the game, but came alive in moments. Grabbed an excellent assist.

Timothy Weah (7/10) *MOTM* – Provided plenty of threat and took his goal well.

Josh Sargent (6/10) – Worked hard and linked up well. Wasted an early chance to open the scoring.

Substitutes

Brendan Aaronson (6/10)

DeAndre Yedlin (6/10)

Haji Wright (6/10)

Kellyn Acosta (6/10)

Jordan Morris (NA/10)

Wales

Wayne Hennessey (5/10) – Couldn’t do much about Weah’s goal. Opted to punch the ball a few times when he could have caught it.

Connor Roberts (6/10) – Didn’t allow much past him. Could have contributed more going forward.

Chris Mepham (5/10) – Struggled to cope with the threat of Weah, but always fought hard to win a few headers and tackles.

Joe Rodon (5/10) – Beaten far too easily by Pulisic for USA’s goal. Also almost scored an own goal early on.

Ben Davies (6/10) – Came under a lot of pressure but didn’t buckle. Nearly equalised at 1-0.

Neco Williams (5/10) – Allowed Weah to get away from him for the opener. Didn’t offer much in attack.

Ethan Ampadu (7/10) – Battled hard in midfield and played some good passes. Prevented Wales from getting overrun in midfield.

Aaron Ramsey (5/10) – Anonymous in the first half. Helped regain some control in midfield after the break.

Harry Wilson (5/10) – Created one excellent chance from a corner, but provided little outside of that.

Gareth Bale (6/10) – Quiet for the most part, but did well to win the penalty before emphatically smashing home.

Daniel James (4/10) – Hardly touched the ball before being substituted at half time.

Substitutes

Kieffer Moore (6/10)

Brennan Johnson (6/10)

Sorba Thomas (NA/10)

Joe Morrell (NA/10)

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