Disgraceful images have surfaced of England and Wales fans coming to blows on the strip of the Spanish party Island, Tenerife. On Friday both teams played their second game of the World Cup, and tensions among Wales fans were clearly high as Gareth Bale’s team was defeated at the death by two late goals from Iran.
England then took on the USA, which turned out to be one of the most uninspiring and boring games so far at the tournament. Had England won the game, they would have confirmed their place in round 16. Instead, they failed to maintain the high standards of the Iran game with the match ending in a goalless draw.
Two sets of opposition fans, most likely highly intoxicated, within a small area is dangerous cocktail, a recipe for trouble. That was certainly the case of Wales and England fans in Tenerife who disgracefully and violently assaulted each other.
The USMNT and Wales played to a 1-1 draw that leaves the future of both teams in Qatar 2022 uncertain for their other two World Cup group games, however, all indications are that the easiest path to that goal is in favor of Gareth Bale and company, essentially due to the order of each team’s next two games.
In the next matchday of Group B of Qatar 2022, the United States will have what is expected to be their toughest challenge as they will have to face England, while Wales will have the obligation to beat Iran, which, based on what was seen on Monday, seems to be the weakest team in the section.
What’s next for the USMNT and Wales?
It is worth remembering that England defeated Iran 6-2 and that if they beat Team USA they will mathematically assure their pass to the round of 16, so they will surely go out with their luxury team to try to beat a team that, incredibly, they have not been able to beat twice in World Cups.
That is why, if the logical results of the aforementioned games to be held on Friday are given, England would defeat the United States, Wales would beat Iran and then the situation for the final games would be a terrible scenario for Gregg Berhalter and company.
Wales have everything to reach the Round of 16
In the last series of matches, to be held on Tuesday, Wales would face England, who could keep some of their best players because they are already qualified and if they get a draw, even if the United States wins by many goals against Iran, they would be eliminated.
That is why not losing against England becomes vital for the United States, the mission seems very difficult, a draw against Wales could end up being fatal for the team coached by Gregg Berhalter.
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.
When Timothy Weah scored the USMNT‘s first goal at the Qatar 2022 World Cup in the 36th minute of the game against the Welsh national team, it looked like paradise was in store for the team coached by Gregg Berhalter, who like most of his players was having his first experience in the greatest showcase of world soccer, however, the clouds and doubts came in the second half.
Berhalter, who took over this team in 2018 decided to go out with the same 11 players that opened the game and that even included Sergio Dest and Weston McKennie, who had prolonged inactivity at their clubs due to different injuries.
All of Gregg Berhalter’s tactical mistakes
Perhaps that was Berhalter’s first big mistake, as the physical exhaustion they had suffered in the first half caused these players to drop their performance and then, suddenly, Wales did what they failed to do in the first 45 minutes, take the ball away from the team that won the last edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
That said, the first change came in the 66th minute, it was McKinnie who gave his place to Brenden Aaronson, Dest gave his place until the 74th minute for the most veteran player of this roster, DeAndre Yedlin, and Wales began to harass the goal defended by Matt Turner.
Giovanni Reyna, one of the most talented players and one of the most capable of retaining possession for Berhalter and company, was left waiting on the bench and was outplayed in the final minutes, but still held the lead.
Walker Zimmermann’s mistake that will be hard to forget
In the accumulation of errors, the most important one was missing, that of Walker Zimmerman, who in the 82nd minute, when Wales’ star player, Gareth Bale controlled the ball in the box and was with his back to the goal defended by Wayne Hennessey, swept directly to his left leg, making it easy for the referee to sanction the penalty kick with which the game would be tied in the end.
Thus, the United States leaves frustrated for not having been able to obtain the victory against Wales, the little experience weighed, the next rival is the most powerful of Group B, the national team of England.
Two days before he starts his participation in the World Cup against Wales on Monday, Berhalter spoke with ESPN about a wide range of topics surrounding the USMNT’s and the biggest football stage in the planet.
He wants his players to understand that the only way that they’ll be able to make history is if they believe in it.
“On our best day we can beat anyone in the world. Anyone”, he told ESPN.
Gregg Berhalter wants the UNSMNT to be protagonist in Qatar
Gregg Berhalter said that is an honor to play in the World Cup, and his team doesn’t want to just be participans, they want to perform and do their best.
Under Berhalter’s leadership and guidance the stars and stripes team returned to a World Cup after missing Russia 2018 due to a disastrous qualyfing round.
He now coaches one of the youngest teams in the tournament and is leading a young generation of players with the goal of having an historic participation for the next World Cup, which they host.
Talented players like Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Timothy Weah and Yunus Musah, among many others.
“When you’re on the field and the sideline and the crowd is loud and there’s pressure moments; if you’re not prepared, I think it hurts decision-making.”
Gregg Berhalter thinks anything is possible
Ahead of his first game against Wales, Berhalter is yet to name the captain of his squad, but what he does know is that once they start they don’t have a set date for it to end so they’ll have to take it step by step to be among the two best teams in their group and advance to the knockout rounds.
“In the knockout games, playing our best possible game and seeing how far we can go.”