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FIFA World Cup 2022 Recap: USA 1, Wales 1

Al Rayyan, Qatar; United States of America forward Timothy Weah (21) celebrates with defender Antonee Robinson (5) after scoring a goal against Wales during the first half during a group stage match during the 2022 FIFA World Cup at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

The USA and Wales drew their opening game in Group B, with Gareth Bale the hero for the Welsh once again.

Timothy Weah opened the scoring for the USMNT in the first half, slotting the ball past Wayne Hennessey after being found with a fantastic pass from Christian Pulisic. Bale leveled with a powerful strike from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute after a foul by Walker Zimmerman. 

With England beating Iran 6-2 earlier in the day, the USA and Wales will need to rely on their results against those two teams as they attempt to qualify for the knockout stages.

Expected goals (xG): USA 1.05, Wales 1.28

The penalty skews this in favor of Wales but confirms that the draw was probably the fair result overall — despite some big performances from the United States.

Man of the Match: Christian Pulisic, USA

Pulisic delivered a sublime assist for the goal that put the United States up 1-0, highlighting an impressive performance all around. He wasn’t perfect — just two of his 15 crosses reached a teammate — but along with five completed line-breaking passes, he also completed five of his seven dribble attempts and won seven fouls in the game.

Best Passer: Yunus Musah, USA

Musah was tremendous for the United States, completing 94.9% of his passes — the highest completion percentage of any player who attempted at least 15 passes in the game. He also went 3-for-3 on line-breaking passes, showcasing his ability to progress the ball forward.

Best Challenger: Tyler Adams, USA

This won't surprise you if you have followed PFF FC on Twitter, with Adams producing an 85.6 PFF challenge grade that ranks sixth in the Premier League, but the captain was immense against Wales. He won two of his three aerial duels, all four of his 50-50 duels and four of the eight tackles he was involved in. His 66.7% challenge win rate was the best of any player to attempt more than one challenge in the game.

Goalkeepers

Matt Turner is arguably the reason why the United States walked away from this game with one point instead of none, as he saved two of the three on-target shots he faced. While the USA had plenty of chances, they scored from their only attempt on target Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey faced.

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