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Player ratings as Bale rescues point on Dragons’ World Cup return

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Wales left it late to earn a point against the United States in their first World Cup finals match since 1958.

The Stars and Stripes dominated the Dragons in the first half, but the second-half introduction of Kieffer Moore changed the complexion of the evening and his contributions were vital towards clawing back a draw.

After a cagey opening, the USA twice came close to going in front after nine minutes. First, Joe Rodon’s powerful header towards his own net cannoned off goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, before Josh Sargent headed wide from a delicious Tim Weah cross seconds later.

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36 minutes into a drab affair, the USA deservedly went in front through. A Wales goal kick came back the other way when Yunus Musah beat Ethan Ampadu to a loose ball and Christian Pulisic raced into the space vacated by an advancing Joe Rodon, slipping in Weah to poke past Hennessey.

Wales’ only real first-half foray saw Ben Davies head quite a fair way wide from a Harry Wilson corner as Rob Page’s side went into the break behind.

Moore replaced Dan James for the start of the second half and the Dragons immediately showed more aggression, with Matt Turner nearly dropping a corner onto Chris Mepham’s head from another corner.

Another header from Davies, this time following a Wilson free-kick foced Turner into his first save, while Moore’s effort from the following corner went just over the top as Wales up the ante.

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With ten minutes remaining, Wales were awarded a penalty when Walker Zimmerman went through the back of Gareth Bale, and the LAFC forward smashed his spot kick into the top corner.

Substitute Brennan Johnson, whose quick thinking from a throw led to the penalty, brought a smart save out of Turner after lashing at shot him on the counter in the final minutes of normal time.

The match came to an end after over ten minutes of stoppage time, with the two sides now sitting in second and third heading into the second matchday. USA next face England, while Wales take on Iran.

Timothy Weah.

Weah opened the scoring / Richard Sellers/GettyImages

GK: Matt Turner – 6/10 – Didn’t have too much to do but still nearly made a meal of a corner. Made a couple of decent saves late on.

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RB: Sergino Dest – 5/10 – Failed to contribute much at either end.

CB: Walker Zimmerman – 3/10 – Imperious for the most part until he slid right through Bale for no reason.

CB: Tim Ream – 6/10 – Excellent for the most part, though was booked for a rather cynical foul.

LB: Antonee Robinson – 6/10 – Galloped up and down the left flank with freedom.

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DM: Tyler Adams – 6/10 – Dictated superbly in the first half but was a bit swamped in the second when Wales finally decided to start playing.

CM: Yunus Musah – 7/10 – His winger skillset came in handy, wriggling out of tight areas and progressing up the pitch.

CM: Weston McKennie – 7/10 – More often than not was the one to join Weah down the right flank as opposed to Dest. Brought great energy on and off the ball.

RW: Tim Weah – 7/10 – The source of the USA’s early creativity was rewarded with a goal. His Ballon d’Or winning father will have been proud with the finish.

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CF: Josh Sargent – 6/10 – Dropped deep to drag Rodon out of position to great effect.

LW: Christian Pulisic – 7/10 – It wasn’t the best game he’ll ever play but Pulisic was the USA’s star player anyways, driving right at Wales time and time again.

SUB: Brenden Aaronson (66′ for McKennie) – 5/10

SUB: DeAndre Yedlin (74′ for Dest) – 5/10

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SUB: Haji Wright (74′ for Sargent) – 4/10

SUB: Kellyn Acosta (74′ for Musah) – 4/10

Manager: Gregg Berhalter – 5/10 – The USMNT were great in the first half but Berhalter’s changes did little to help cope with Wales’ fightback.

Kieffer Moore

Moore was excellent / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

GK: Wayne Hennessey – 5/10 – Got the nod over Danny Ward and didn’t do a lot wrong.

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CB: Chris Mepham – 7/10 – Wales’ best defender, notably keeping out Pulisic with an excellent slide tackle on the hour mark.

CB: Joe Rodon – 5/10 –
Punished for pushing up and trying to win possession for USA’s opener. Improved like most of his teammates after the break.

CB: Ben Davies – 6/10 – A bit sloppy in possession and looked leggy against the Americans’ pacy forwards.

RM: Connor Roberts – 5/10 – Gained confidence after Moore was brought on but still found it hard to be effective.

CM: Ethan Ampadu – 6/10 – Made some poor choices at the base of midfield, but tried extremely hard and defended well.

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CM: Aaron Ramsey – 6/10 – Took no responsibility in the first 45, but stepped up a bit more when he had a focal point in Moore to play off of when moving forward.

CM: Harry Wilson – 6/10 – Drifted out to the wing at times to create overloads. His set piece delivery was exquisite.

LM: Neco Williams – 5/10 – Showed great endeavour to continually run at the USA, but his technical qualities didn’t match his physical ones.

CF: Gareth Bale – 7/10 – Anonymous in the first half but looked a lot more dangerous with Moore alongside him.

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CF: Dan James – 3/10 – Bullied off the ball with ease in his 45 minutes on the pitch.

SUB: Kieffer Moore (46′ for James) – 8/10 – Wales’ best player and the catalyst by their improved second half. Caused the USA all sorts of problems.

SUB: Brennan Johnson (79′ for Williams) – 7/10

SUB: Sorba Thomas (90′ for Wilson) – N/A

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SUB: Joe Morrell (90′ for Ampadu) – N/A
Manager: Rob Page – 6/10 – The decision not to play Moore from the start was called into question and Wales’ dreadful first half proved Page’s critics right. At least he actually got on the pitch.

Player of the Match – Kieffer Moore



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Ben White leaves England World Cup squad due to ‘personal reasons’

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Arsenal star Ben White has left England’s World Cup training camp and isn’t expected to return for the remainder of the tournament.

The defender didn’t make an appearance in any of the Three Lions group stage games, and has now left the squad due to ‘personal reasons’.

In a statement released by England, the Three Lions confirmed the news: “Ben White has left England’s training base in Al Wakrah and returned home for personal reasons.

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Harry Symeou hosts Jack Gallagher and Toby Cudworth to look back on Germany ’06 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download or listen to the episode in full!

“The Arsenal defender is not expected to return to the squad for the remainder of the tournament. We ask that the player’s privacy is respected at this moment in time.”

White has enjoyed a fantastic domestic season with Arsenal, becoming the club’s first choice right-back – and one of the best right-backs in the Premier League – as the Gunners have gone from top four challengers to table-toppers.

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Rodolfo Pizarro returns to Inter Miami as Monterrey decline purchase option

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Monterrey have decided not to exercise the buyout option for Rodolfo Pizarro, sending him back to Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami. 

The Mexican player joined Rayados on loan ahead of the 2022 Liga MX Clausura, returning to Monterrey for a second stint after first signing in 2018. This time around, Pizarro managed one goal in 30 games under Manuel Vucetich. 

But his efforts were not enough to secure the permanent move, as Monterrey declined to move forward with the Mexican figure. 

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He now returns to Inter Miami, where he’s previously enjoyed success.

In his first two seasons with the club, he managed seven goals and 12 assists in 46 appearances. His form propelled the move back to Liga MX, returning to familiar ground while alleviating roster problems for Inter Miami. 

“This loan gives the Club more options to continue managing our roster. We are working tirelessly to acquire the right players that will help us attain our objectives moving forward. We’re glad to have found an opportunity for Rodolfo to continue developing in Mexico and wish him well during his loan,” explained Inter Miami CF Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Chris Henderson in January 2022. 

But his future with the Herons remains unclear as Phil Neville’s side is linked with the likes of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. 

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Inter Miami are in negotiations with Lionel Messi’s representatives and are willing to meet the legendary forward’s wage demands to bring him to MLS, 90min understands.

The club have been in contact with the PSG and Argentina star’s representatives recently and, on top of being willing to meet his wage demands, Inter Miami are also willing to sign a number of players that Messi would want to play with.

One of these players is Luis Suarez, who has recently been linked with the MLS club, as is Sergio Busquets – although the latter seems to be a less financially feasible signing.



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Poland vs Argentina: Confirmed lineups

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Poland vs Argentina

France, who have already secured a spot in the last 16 of the World Cup 2022, play Tunisia on Wednesday in their final Group D matchup.

In the meantime, the African nation is last in the standings and must defeat the current champions to advance to the knockout stages.

Line-up

Poland XI (4-4-1-1): Szczesny; Bereszynski, Glik, Kiwior, Cash; Frankowski, Bielik, Krychowiak, Zielinski; Swiderski; Lewandowski

Argentina XI (4-3-3): Martínez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuña; De Paul, Enzo Fernández, Mac Allister; Messi, Álvarez, Di María

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