Momentum can change in soccer on a dime and USMNT defender Walker Zimmerman might have cost his team everything with a mistake in today's World Cup opener against Wales.
In the 80th minute, with the United States leading 1-0, Wales was pressing the attack in their box. With Wales star striker Gareth Bale trying to corral the ball, Zimmerman stuck his foot out and hit Bale in the leg, knocking him down and drawing the penalty.
Bale quickly put away the penalty kick despite a good effort from USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner in getting a hand on the ball. With that, the score was evened up at 1-1.
Fans were furious with Zimmerman though because it was such a silly attempt that was completely unnecessary - and it might have cost the US two crucial points in the World Cup:
Beating Wales was always going to be a challenge and many fans probably would have been satisfied with a draw before this game started. But with Wales right where the USMNT wanted them, this one is going to sting for a long time.
If the USMNT fails to reach the knockout stage in the World Cup by two points, Walker Zimmerman is probably going to get the lion's share of the blame.
After that, he kind of deserves it.
Will Zimmerman's error cost the USMNT a trip to the knockout round?