Football World Cup 2022: Wales and USA with a draw, Oranje celebrates, England with a thumping victory

Football World Cup Qatar, Day 2
Gareth Bale saves point for Wales against USA – Oranje and England celebrate opening wins

Gareth Bale’s penalty equalized Wales 1-1 in the World Cup match against USA

The game was also played on the second day of this World Cup: The USA and Wales parted ways in a draw, Oranje was happy about three points, England duped Iran. The World Cup match day at a glance.

Captain Gareth Bale got Wales in the party mood with a late penalty in their first World Cup appearance in 64 years. The star striker helped the Dragons to a 1:1 (0:1) against the USA on Monday evening. The long-superior Americans took a 36th-minute lead at Al-Rajjan’s Ahmad bin Ali Stadium through Timothy Weah, son of former Liberian world footballer George Weah. Bale equalized from the point in the 82nd minute.

43,418 spectators watched an intense but not top-class game in Group B of the World Cup in Qatar. With a moved expression, Bale listened to his country’s national anthem before the kick-off, loudly sung by the fans in red. The Welsh were in the 2016 European Championship semi-finals, but last played a World Cup tournament in 1958 when they failed in the quarter-finals at eventual title winners Brazil. The 33-year-old star striker and former Real Madrid professional knew his opponents only too well: he recently became US champions with his new club Los Angeles FC.

Wales scores penalty against USA

As a rather lonely attacker, Bale saw his back line get into trouble. Keeper Wayne Hennessy first had to fend off a header from his own frontman Joe Rodon, then ex-Bremer Josh Sargent hit the outside of the post.

The team of US coach Gregg Beerhalter, once captain at Energie Cottbus and 1860 Munich, was more energetic in its search for the way forward. Welsh coach Rob Page called up six defensive players – Bale and Co. hardly played anything on offense in the first half.

The US selection, this time led by former Leipzig player Tyler Adams as captain, missed the 2018 World Cup in Russia. On their return to the international stage with 25 World Cup debuts, the Americans simply seemed more agile and lively than their opponents, but rarely found gaps in Wales’ back five.

The Bale team then shifted the game more and more often into the opposing half: After Ben Davies and Kieffer Moore headed the Wales supporters behind the US goal half raised their arms to celebrate, but the ball only went in when Bale converted the penalty he was guilty of.

Senegal 0-2 Netherlands

In the second game of the day, Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen helped the Netherlands to a perfect start at the World Cup. The three-time finalist won 2-0 (0-0) against Senegal at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha on Monday, putting coach Louis van Gaal’s selection in a good position to advance to the next round. After Gakpo’s (84th minute) late 1-0, Klaassen (90+9) made the decision.

The African champions, who have to do without their injured superstar Sadio Mané in the tournament, are worried about qualifying for the round of 16 in their third World Cup appearance and now urgently need a win in the second tournament game against hosts Qatar. Goalkeeper and debutant Andries Noppert kept a good performance in his first international match without conceding a goal.

England 6-2 Iran

Co-favorite England defied the hype about the symbolic colorful captain’s armband and set the first sporting exclamation mark in Qatar with the highest opening World Cup win in their history. The team around goalscorer Jude Bellingham, where captain Harry Kane did not have the “One Love” armband for diversity on his arm after the announced sanctions from Fifa, won 6-2 (3-0) in Al-Rajjan on Monday the overwhelmed outsider Iran and thus impressively demonstrated his ambitions for the title.

In front of 45,334 spectators, some of whom were late to the stadium due to problems with the ticketing app, Bellingham (35th minute) scored the opening goal for head coach Gareth Southgate’s team. Wingers Bukayo Saka (43’/62′), Raheem Sterling (45’+1′), Marcus Rashford (71′) and Jack Grealish (90′) scored more goals. For England it was the first win since March, in the summer there was not a single success in six Nations League games. More than two goals by Mehdi Taremi (65th / 90th + 13 / penalty) were not possible for Iran.

Iranian goalkeeper Ali Beiranvand was substituted early on with a head injury. The 30-year-old collided with his team-mate Majid Hosseini after a sharp cross from Harry Kane in Monday’s game against England at the Chalifa International Stadium in Al-Rajjan and had to be treated on the ground for several minutes. Beiranvand briefly tried to continue but was replaced by Seyed Hossein Hosseini in the 18th minute and left the field. A concussion was suspected.

Iran protests and ban on armband

Even before kick-off at the Khalifa International Stadium, which also hosted the 2019 World Athletics Championships, the game was highly political and symbolic. England captain Kane did not wear the armband because FIFA threatened to sanction the campaign by several European associations with yellow cards and other penalties as a sign of diversity. A week ago, the FA association announced that it would also accept penalties for the diversity sign. Now those responsible emphasized that they did not want to get the players on the pitch in trouble.

The signs of the outsider were all the more visible – but in a completely different matter. Some Iranian fans showed their solidarity with the protests at home by wearing shirts that read “Women, Life, Freedom”. For weeks, Iran has been rocked by the worst protests in decades. The death of a young woman in police custody had triggered this, and the security apparatus reacted with harshness. The Iranian players were silent during the anthem, the fans made additional noise – this is also understood as a protest.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was first published.

mth / wue

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