Today, the Welsh National Team defeated Ukraine’s counterpart 1-0 at Cardiff City Stadium, Wales, securing their claim to history as the first Welsh team to make it to the World Cup since 1958. In so doing, unfortunately, Wales deprived the neutrals’ sentimental favorite of the opportunity to lift their ravaged nation’s morale through sport.
Ironically an own goal at the 34th minute, by Andriy Yarmolenko, Ukraine’s captain and major star, off a free kick by Wales’s captain and major star, Gareth Bale, was the difference-maker.
Though Ukraine dominated most of the game, with a 68% possession, thanks to an outstanding midfield performance by Oleksandr Zinchenko, it was Welsh keeper, Wayne Hennessey, who was the man of the match, making several outstanding saves to keep his team in the game and then to preserve their slim margin.
Now World Cup 2022 Group B is complete—it will be England, USA, Iran, and Wales. The Welsh will be the USA’s first opponent in Qatar, on November 21 at 2 pm.
Meanwhile, at Children’s Marcy Park, in Kansas City, the USA drew with Uruguay 0-0 presaging the potential of the USMNT who played with a number of substitutes as is coach Gregg Berhalter’s tendency. Uruguay started with many of their first string on the bench but most of them came in during the second half. The match was wide open, and each side missed a half dozen goal opportunities. But the takeaway was that the USA is capable of keeping up with a perennial World Cup contender.
UEFA Nations League
Today, a number of World Cup-bound sides played each other in the UEFA Nations League with the Czech Republic drawing 2-2 with Spain in Sinobo Stadium, Prague and Portugal demolished Switzerland 4-0 at Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon.
Yesterday, Italy, using a revamped line-up, drew 1-1 with a German team utilizing all of their starters in Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in Bologna.
The shocker score line was to be had in Brussels where the Netherlands defeated Belgium 4-1 in a match the Red Devils were never in contention to win.
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