The U.S. National Team disappointed with a 1-1 draw against Wales, not because they had a point in their World Cup debut, but because they had the victory assured, and just minutes before the final whistle, they were tied by Gareth Bale from the 11 penalty kicks. USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter spoke to the media about the draw.
Berhalter admitted faults in their set piece defense
“We gave it our all,” Berhalter said, insisting the U.S. had everything to beat Wales, but admits his team struggled when Gareth Bale‘s men were more direct in the second half.
The U.S. national team coach praised his team after the 1-1 draw against Wales in the team’s first World Cup match.
“It was a hard-fought game. We left everything out there,” Berhalter said after the match. The U.S. took an early lead after Timothy Weah scored the first goal for the Americans, before a Gareth Bale penalty kick tied the game 1-1.
“And we had some good counterattacking opportunities. But I thought the guys handled it well. You know we kept going right to the end. Well, I would say Wales were very direct in the second half. And they’ve got a great team. And they made it difficult,” Berhalter confessed.
Berhalter and the sins in the U.S. mark
“So, I think we handled a lot of our pressure well. But when they hit long balls and play for second balls, it becomes difficult. Even with the increased pressure from a Welsh side that played with their backs against the wall in the second half, the U.S. was still able to maintain enough stability in defense by allowing too many clear-cut scoring opportunities during the second half,” the U.S. DT clarified.
The horror tackle by center back Walker Zimmerman that sent Bale to the penalty spot would prove to be the turning point in the match that cost the U.S. three points in its return to the World Cup.
The U.S. will play England on Friday in what was already considered a big game, but will now have more pressure as it would do the U.S. a lot of good to come out of the game with at least a point.