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Wales fans emotional after opening game vs USA ends in draw

To close out Monday’s World Cup group stage, USA played Wales in Group B in a match that ended in a 1-1 draw.

The US is playing in the World Cup this year after failing to qualify in 2018 and was hungry for a win on Monday. In their last World Cup appearance in 2014, the USMNNT made it to the Round of 16. To start the game, a penalty on Wales defender Joe Rodon awarded a free kick to US’ Christian Pulisic. Unfortunately for the US, Pulisic sent it too low and Wales cleared it. The misfortune continued when Sergiño Dest and Weston McKennie were both given two yellow cards early on.

In the 35th minute, Pulisic won another free kick on a foul by Wales’ Chris Mepham and USA’s fortune changed. Winger Tim Weah punched the ball in the back of the net and gave the US the 1-0 lead.

But the Wales team had its own agenda. With more to prove after having failed to qualify for a World Cup in 64 years, the Welsch were also hungry for a win.

“Normally we watch the World Cup and we think as a neutral and we pick a team,” said one fan after the game. “This year, we don’t have to pick a team. We’ve got a team, and that just means everything.”

In the 82nd minute, Gareth Bale, who had earlier received a yellow card, redeemed himself with a goal on a penalty shot to tie up the game, 1-1. That goal made Bale the first goalscorer for Wales in a World Cup since 1958. The fans were ecstatic.

“The USA, to be fair to them, played excellent,” said another fan after the game. “I’m just glad Bale got the penalty at the end there. 1-1, we’ll take that.”

“So many years of having to suffer poor football, poor qualification campaigns,” said another Wales fan. “This makes up for it and we’ve got a great team. Hopefully we can go on.”

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