Sports

USA 1-1 Wales: Super Eagles denied George Weah, but son makes World Cup impact for America

Timothy Weah, son of legendary Liberian striker George Weah, scored the United States’ first goal of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in their 1-1 draw against Wales on Monday evening.

Weah raced through on goal to apply a firm, first-time finish to a delicious through pass from Christian Pulisic just past the half-hour mark.

A late Gareth Bale penalty, however, earned Wales a share of the spoils inside the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium.

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Still, it was a landmark moment for the 22-year-old Weah, who became the first United States international player born in the 2000s to score at the World Cup.

Weah’s Nigerian connection

Tim Weah’s goal arrives just over twenty years after his father, George Weah, was denied by Nigeria at his last attempt to appear at the FIFA World Cup.

Considered one of the greatest footballers to ever come from the black continent, George Weah remains the only African to win the Ballon d’Or. The AC Milan great is also one of the most gifted players to never feature at the World Cup. 

In 2002, though, Weah made a fantastic final push to fulfill a childhood vision of playing at football’s biggest festival.

As captain of the Liberian national team, Weah inspired the Lone Stars to reach the final qualifying campaign for the Mundial.

With only the group winners booking a ticket to Korea/Japan 2002, Liberia were unfortunate to be drawn with three former African champions in Sudan, Ghana, and Nigeria as well as Sierra Leone.

But the Lone Star proved to be the team to beat and pushed Nigeria all the way, finishing second with 15 points, one behind the eventual group winners.

A 2-0 victory in Nigeria and a narrow 1-0 win away in Freetown had helped the Super Eagles’ cause in no small measure – dealing a fatal blow to George Weah’s dream.

Nigeria did not make it past the group stage at the World Cup proper, however, with the Super Eagles finishing last in a group that had England, Argentina, and Sweden.

On Monday evening, though, the senior Weah, now Liberia’s president, would have been proud to see his son not only play at the World Cup but also score the crucial goal that gave the United States their first goal at the Mundial in eight years.

Earlier in the same Group B, Nigerian descent Bukayo Saka inspired England to a thrilling 6-2 triumph over Iran.