Zimmerman foul on Bale makes more sense after you hear what he said about it. He is trying to win the soccer ball and doesn’t really even see Bale until it’s too late. Zimmerman thinks he can win, or poke the ball away before Bale gets into position. But Bale smartly gets his body in front of the ball, or at least one leg. So Zimmerman ends up going through him.
As Grant Wahl said on his podcast, Bale hasn’t played a full 90 minute game in a long time. He must have been tired by that point in the game. Bale was’t going to have the energy to turn and beat Zimmerman.
The referee had to call the penalty. With just ten minutes left in the game Bale is able to step up and tie the game from the penalty spot for Wales.
It’s all happening so fast in the box area. One can give Zimmerman a little bit of a break on this. However, as a rule for defenders, there is just no need to even take the chance of having a penalty called by going to ground to try to win the ball one the attackers’ back is to goal.
“The ball gets down to the end line, I see it get cut back and at that point, I’m dropping down and on the way to step out and clear the ball, I don’t see Bale coming across,” Zimmerman said after the match. “I think it was one of those where he probably just puts his leg, not for the ball, but to try to get in the way of me hitting the ball. So I kind of went through him and I think I still got the ball, but it was a clever move.
“I wish I would have seen him out of the corner of my eye when trying to clear the ball, but it was instinctive. It was quick. And I’m a little bit frustrated by that. But sometimes those plays happen.”
It is a tough lesson for Zimmerman to learn. And it’s too bad it had to come in a World Cup game.
Wales continued to show to resilience against USMNT. It was paid off in the 82nd minute with Gareth Bale’s clinical penalty finish in the 82nd minute. 10 of Wales’ 14 goals at their past three major tournaments has seen Bale or Aaron Ramsey. With Bale Or Ramsey scoring or providing the assist.
See the Zimmerman foul on Bale in the video below.