Wales took to the field looking relatively calm while across the nation fans gripped by the excitement of the match were on the edges of their seats waiting for the whistle to signal the nation’s first World Cup game for over 64 years. Most would have waited a lifetime.
At the Stebonheath bar, home to Llanelli AFC, the excitement was evident as Wales started their 2022 campaign. It is a tough group with the USA, England and Iran to play.
As the teams lined up you could feel the anticipation within the Stebonheath club. The National Anthem was incredible and almost blew the roof off the stadium.
Wales were taken by surprise in the first half with a fast and furious USA team coming out of the blocks the quickest. Wales looked in complete disarray. It wasn’t long before the USA capitalised with a goal by Timothy Weah after 36 minutes. Wales were looking dazed and confused. There were screams to bring on Kiefer Moore as Wales looked weak in midfield.
The fans got their wish at half time and Moore significantly turned the game around along with team mate Ethan Ampadu. The USA could not cope with the new strength but it took until the 82nd minute for that man Gareth Bale to step up for a penalty and belt it into the back of the net.
It looked like Wales could still take the game and a few near misses left the fans gasping. The game had its incidents with a number of yellow cards being shown. It would have been disastrous had Wales lost a player. Bale becomes the first Welsh player to score at a World Cup in over 64 years. Afterwards the manager Rob Page admitted he had ‘got it wrong’ by not starting Kiefer Moore but said he had responded and made the changes at half time. Many of the players were out on their feet at the end of the game.
Despite the game ending in a draw, many Welsh fans will be pleased that they came away from their first world cup game in 64 years without defeat and that skipper Gareth Bale has kept their hopes alive.