Wales’s Gareth Bale converted a penalty kick in the 82nd minute to offset Tim Weah’s first-half goal and give Wales a 1-1 draw in the return to the World Cup for both nations.
Weah is the son of former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberian President George Weah. He scored after a pass from Christian Pulisic in the 36th minute.
The United States was back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament and appeared headed to victory. But Walker Zimmerman ploughed down Bale from behind with the Welsh star’s back to the goal, and Bale converted the penalty for his 41st international goal.
Bale put his kick to the left of goalkeeper Matt Turner’s outstretched arm for his 41st goal in 109 international appearances, salvaging a point for Wales in its first World Cup match since 1958.
“The most important thing was that we didn’t lose,” Weah said. “We kept a tie, and now we just focus on the next game.”
Next up for the United States is a high-profile matchup against England on Friday, the same day Wales faces Iran. England opened with a 6-2 rout of the Iranians earlier Monday.
Tim Weah, just 22, was part of a new-look American team that is the second-youngest in the tournament.
“It was a hard-fought game. We left everything out there,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said.