USA midfielder Kellyn Acosta produced a game-saving tactical foul on LAFC teammate Gareth Bale in the dying embers of Monday's World Cup clash against Wales, and we don't think it's being talked about enough.
With the scoreline at 1-1 after goals from Timothy Weah and Gareth Bale respectively, the latter had the chance to score one of the tournament's most iconic goals deep into extra time.
Bale picked the ball up inside the centre circle and with goalkeeper Matt Turner way out of his goal, the Welshman was getting ready to fling his trusty left boot at the ball when second-half substitute Acosta hauled him down.
Look at Reyna at the back when Acosta fouled Bale he got that winning mentality in him wish he had been a last minute super sub pic.twitter.com/3Wr6l0NDva— 🇩🇪🇺🇸 (@KimmichEra) November 22, 2022
Here's how social media reacted to the incident during Monday night's Group B game.
One fan said: "Kellyn Acosta just saved America from a full-blown meltdown there. Imagine Bale had got the shot off there and went in. Enthralling game," while another commented: "That Kellyn Acosta foul was one of the smartest things I've seen an athlete do in a long time. Bale 100000% was booting that from midfield top bins."
A third wrote: "You will not see a more important foul than that by Acosta on Bale," and a fourth commented: "Acosta just deprived us of potentially the greatest moment in this World Cup. Would’ve loved to have seen Bale pull the trigger there."
Another said: "That foul by Acosta on Bale to prevent his shot on goal is something you should teach young kids. Some fouls/yellows are worth taking."
This foul by Kellyn Acosta is an all time great tactical foul + yellow card. Bale is about to strike it and Turner is still 25 yards from goal in 99th minute. pic.twitter.com/RF1Kt34NqH— Stu Holden (@stuholden) November 22, 2022
Bale was denied a potentially game-winning moment by club teammate Acosta but after the full-time whistle, the pair shared a laugh as the points were shared.
After a positive start to the game, Gregg Berhalter's side deservedly opened the scoring through Lille forward Timothy Weah, who cooly converted past goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
But like we have seen so often down the years, Wales came out fighting in the second-half and that man Gareth Bale won a penalty before converting from the spot with 82 minutes played to make it 1-1.
After the full-time whistle, Wales boss Rob Page admitted he got it wrong in terms of team selection after downplaying their opponents pressing style.
"I take responsibility for that," Page said in his post-match interview. "Nothing against Daniel James at all. The way they played in the past, I thought we could play through the middle and play beyond their front three when they press. They changed the press.
"We didn’t get any of the players on the ball and we were getting wave after wave of attack. He made a massive difference for us. Lessons have been learned from today. It was important we didn’t lose the game.
"The good thing we've got, if you look on the bench now, we've got Brennan [Johnson] playing in the Premier League, he came on and made an impact, Kieffer came on and made an impact. We have strength in depth, I can look over my shoulder to the bench and we've got players who can come on and have a real impact on games."
Featured Image Credit: NOS/beIN Sports
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