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Wales earn a point against USA in first World Cup game for 64 years

WALES’ first game at a World Cup for 64 years ended in a 1-1 draw as Gareth Bale’s late penalty rescued his country.

The US had the better of the first half and deservedly led at the break but Wales stepped up in the second half with a draw perhaps the right result.

There was early pressure from the United States as they won a free kick and a corner but they came to nothing.

In the ninth minute there was a close call for the Welsh as Timothy Weah’s cross was headed towards his own goal by Joe Rodon and it needed a good reaction save from Wayne Hennessey.

The ball spilled out to Antonee Robinson but his cross was headed against the post by Josh Sargeant.

There were a couple of yellow cards for the Americans and after one such foul, Harry Wilson sent a free kick into the box but it was only cleared as far as Ethan Ampadu but his long range effort sailed over.

In the 35th minute Christian Pulisic broke free through the middle and he played a near through ball for Weah who poked the ball past Hennessey.

It was a deserved lead for USA and Wales knew they would need to step things up to get back in the game.

Gareth Bale was then shown a yellow for what the referee deemed a foul although replays showed he got the ball.

Wales won a corner towards the end of the half but the delivery was lacking.

The half time whistle went with the Americans in the lead but Wales were not out of the game.

Wales brought on Kieffer Moore for the start of the second half hoping for a change in fortunes.

The men in Red began to enjoy a good spell of possession but crosses from Neco Williams and Harry Wilson were dealt with by the US defenders.

In the 64th minute, a free kick into the box wasn’t cleared and Ben Davies threw himself at a header, only to see it pushed over by the American keeper. The resulting corner was headed just over by Kieffer Moore.

With 12 minutes to go Brennan Johnson was brought on for Neco Williams and he made an immediate impact. His quick throw in put Wales in and when the ball fell to Bale he was brought down and the referee pointed to the spot.

Bale had the ball in his hand and he fired it into the net, leaving the American keeper with no chance.

With two minutes to go Moore flicked the ball on for Johnson and he ran into the box but with no one close to him he chose to shoot and saw his effort saved.

Nine minutes of added time were shown and there was still time for both sides to grab a winner.

There was a glimmer of a chance for Moore as the ball came to him in the box but he couldn’t get it under control and the US were able to clear.

Moments later the American keeper came out to clear the ball but it fell only as far as Bale on the half way line but as he lined up a shot he was brought down.

That was the last of the action and it meant that both teams would have to settle for a point apiece.