Gareth Bale scores late penalty as Wales draw with USA
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 as both nations returned to the World Cup.
Weah, a son of former FIFA Player of the Year and current Liberian President George Weah, scored after a pass from Christian Pulisic in the 36th minute.
Back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the United States appeared headed for victory. But Walker Zimmerman mowwed down Bale from behind with the Welsh star's back to the goal, and referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim of Qatar pointed to the penalty spot.
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 their first World Cup match since 1958.
Next up for the United States is a high-profile match-up against England on Friday, the same day Wales face Iran. England opened with a 6-2 rout of the Iranians earlier in the day.
Weah, just 22, was part of a new-look American team that is the second-youngest in the tournament.
Pulisic, the top American player and one of the few remaining from the 2017 qualifying failure, burst up the middle of the field in a move that led to the goal. Weah timed his run perfectly as Pulisic passed ahead, breaking in ahead of Neco Williams.
From near the penalty area, Weah used the side of his right foot to poke the ball over the left thigh of sliding goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey for his fourth goal in 26 international appearances.
Weah ran toward the American fans with arms extended and slid on both knees. He was mobbed by teammates, then raised both hands skyward and blew a kiss to the heavens.
George Weah, who never played in a World Cup, planned to be at the game.
Thousands of supporters in the Red Wall filled one end of the lower bowl and sang throughout.
In the 750th international match in United States history, the Americans started with a record ten players from European clubs, with only Zimmerman from Major League Soccer. DeAndre Yedlin, who entered in the 74th minute, was the only American player with previous World Cup experience.
Josh Sargent nearly put the Americans ahead in the 10th minute when he hit the post with a header from Antonee Robinson's cross. Welshman Ben Davies's header in the 64th minute was pushed over the crossbar by a leaping Turner.
The match was played in the Arabian desert west of Doha at rebuilt Ahmad bin Ali Stadium, lit in brilliant colours and featuring an exterior facade meant to replicate undulating sand dunes.
The US Soccer Federation sold about 3,300 tickets and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was on hand in the crowd of 43,418.
Yunus Musah at 19 years, 358 days, became the youngest American to start a World Cup match, 19 days younger than DaMarcus Beasley in 2022, and Tyler Adams at 23 became the youngest U.S. World Cup captain since Harry Keough and Walter Bahr in 1950.
Turner and Zimmerman played their first competitive matches in a month and McKennie, with newly dyed red, white and blue hair. his first in three weeks