GLASGOW, Scotland – In their third game of the 4-Nations Tournament taking place at the Uddingston Cricket and Hockey Club in Glasgow, Scotland, the No. 22 U.S. Men’s National Team met No. 15 Wales. Powered by two goals in the first quarter, Wales got on the board early and USA cut the deficit in the third but were unable to add anymore as they fell 2-1.
Wales got out to a quick start, scoring in the 2nd minute of play off a penalty corner went Gareth Fulong drug it into the net. USA remained on the backfoot and didn’t register a circle penetration throughout the period. In the 8th minute, Wales earned a penalty stroke for a physical defensive play in the circle. Joseph Naughalty stepped up and converted to give Wales a 2-0 lead. Wales almost added to the goal margin a few minutes later when Benjamin Francis spun around his defender, but he shot went wide.
Three minutes into the second quarter, Wales earned a penalty corner, but the drag attempt was deflected wide. A few minutes later a long-swept ball in was slightly touched by Naughalty but USA goalkeeper Jonathan Klages (Berlin, Germany) dove to make the save. Klages was tested again on the long corner restart, kicking it away. The majority of the remaining minutes were played between the 25-yard lines, but USA did have one close chance just before the halftime break. It came when Marius Leser (Mannheim, Germany) dribbled between two defenders and threaded it through to Alberto Montilla (Allen, Texas) but his diving reverse touch went wide.
Play resumed in the third quarter again with most possession held between the attacking ends. Midway through the frame Wales had a close chance when a backhand cross was deflected off the post by Naughalty but it went over the goal. On the resuming ball, Wales also sailed a backhand shot high. USA started to generate more offensive movement and in the 39th minute won their first penalty corner of the game. Aki Kaeppeler (New York City, N.Y.) scored, dragging it lower into the right corner, to add one back and make it 2-1. A few minutes later, USA earned another penalty corner when A. Kaeppeler swept it into the circle and Wyatt Katz (Santa Rosa Valley, Calif.) touched it onto a defender’s foot. Miscommunication on the top didn’t result in a shot for USA as Wales tried to take the opportunity and countered, but Katz made a good tackle to get possession back.
USA started the fourth quarter down an athlete after Kai Kokolakis (Wiesbaden, Germany) received a 5-minute yellow for a hard tackle from behind in the 45th minute. Trailing by one, USA continued to put Wales’ defensive line under pressure hoping to get a deep turnover. Wales earned the only set pieces in the frame but good running by flyer Christian DeAngelis (Doylestown, Pa.) deflected two away and Klages made the glove save on the other. With 2 minutes to go, Kei Kaeppeler (Stuttgart, Germany) had it on the left baseline and tried create but was tackled by a Wales defender to secure the 2-1 win.
The USMNT will play in the 3rd/4th place match tomorrow, July 3 against No. 15 Wales at 6:00 a.m. ET. For more information on the 4-Nations Tournament, visit the event page.
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