It really was a tale of two halves. Despite the USMNT getting two quick yellow cards, they were the better team in the first 45. The defense smothered Wales and prevented them from getting a shot off. And while the U.S. didn’t really get many shots off in that half, they persevered thanks to a Timothy Weah goal in the 36th minute.
Halftime proved to be the worst thing for the USMNT as Wales got things going and took the momentum for the final 45. Matt Turner came up huge with a couple great saves but a tackle from Walker Zimmerman from behind gave Wales a lifeline. Bale drilled the penalty and the game ended 1-1.
All in all, it would be fair to say that a draw was deserved but that didn’t mean things couldn’t be improved. Many took note that the United States simply wasn’t as good in the second half. Or, at the very least Wales improved and the U.S. couldn’t match. There was some horrendous passing, especially in the final third. Many questioned why Giovanni Reyna never even entered the match. USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter explained after the match that Reyna had some “tightness” and was held out as a precaution.
While a draw was likely and arguably fair, many feel it was two dropped points instead of one point gained, which raises some uneasy feelings over the next week as the USMNT look to advance to the World Cup knockout stage.
Why didn’t @GioAReyna10 start or at least play? Honestly inexcusable if he was a healthy scratch. He brings so much of EVERYTHING (creativity, athleticism, scoring threat) to #USMNT. pic.twitter.com/4U1LzLSYJo
— Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) November 21, 2022
Fair result. But when you're side to dominate in 1st half & forfeit lead on stupid penalty, it is somewhat deflating. I'm sure Wales feel better about that result. But, at end of day, it's still wide open to get to knock-out stage. #USMNT didn't eliminate themselves. #WorldCup
— Neil Clancy (@ClancyNeil) November 21, 2022
Speaking of passing quality, do we have wingers or wingbacks that can serve a ball with any consistency or quality? It was nowhere near good enough from the #USMNT from a service standpoint
— Jon Townsend (@jon_townsend3) November 21, 2022
What a way to completely fall apart in the 2nd half #USMNT
— Aaron 🎮 (@rolltide_25) November 21, 2022
Is Gio Reyna not fit to play??? This game was begging for somebody with personality and character to show for the ball and hold on to it while remaining aggressive with an intent to score on a counter. Gio Reyna is that guy!!! #USMNT
— Alejandro Moreno (@AleMorenoESPN) November 21, 2022
One big thought about the #USMNT game is that the set pieces were horrible. Ball was all over the place. Has to be better.
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) November 21, 2022
— Paul Dellegatto⚡️FOX (@PaulFox13) November 21, 2022
No lies detected.
— Tim Bielik (@timbielik) November 21, 2022