Soccer-Pulisic sends fired-up U.S. to final 16 in simmering contest with Iran By Reuters



© Reuters. Soccer Soccer – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group B – Iran v United States – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha, Qatar – November 29, 2022 Christian Pulisic of the U.S. scores their first aim Pool by way of REUTERS/Stuart Franklin


By Hritika Sharma

DOHA (Reuters) – The US stormed into the World Cup final 16 on Tuesday by beating Iran 1-0 at a cacophonous Al Thumama Stadium after Christian Pulisic bundled the ball dwelling in a Group B showdown shrouded by many years of enmity between the 2 nations.

Pulisic’s thirty eighth minute aim proved sufficient for the People to advance on the expense of their geopolitical rivals in an eagerly awaited rematch of their 1998 World Cup group stage assembly, which Iran had received 2-1.

Sergino Dest headed the ball into the trail of the sprinting Pulisic, who swept it into the online to momentarily silence the raucous Iranian supporters in entrance of him however he crashed into the outstretched Alireza Beiranvand within the course of.

Pulisic was again on his toes after receiving remedy for a couple of minutes however didn’t look snug and he was changed by Brenden Aaronson on the break after sustaining an stomach harm, in a significant blow for the People’ knockout stage hopes.

The U.S., who drew their first two video games with Wales and England, will face three-times finalists Netherlands on Saturday for a spot within the quarter-finals.

“No replace on his standing,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter instructed the BBC. “But it surely’s an exquisite factor when one in every of your finest gamers can be some of the exhausting working. He is definitely that. I can not say sufficient optimistic issues about Christian.”

The People completed two factors behind Group B winners England to achieve the final 16 for the fifth time since 1994. Iran completed third with three factors, with Wales backside with one level.

“Within the first half we confirmed what we will do, soccer clever. We had a very good first half. Second half we confirmed what we might do willpower clever. The blokes grinded, gave each single ounce and we’re undefeated going into the subsequent spherical,” Berhalter added.

Berhalter’s staff, the second youngest at this yr’s finals, might lack expertise on the massive stage however they stepped up and delivered a commanding efficiency when their spot on the World Cup was on the road.

Realizing that solely a win would hold them within the match, they pressed with excessive depth from the primary whistle – their full backs virtually enjoying as wingers – and probabilities flowed due to their slick attacking type.

Tim Weah, who spurned two superb alternatives earlier than Pulisic put the People forward, had the ball within the web late within the first half however his strike was dominated offside.

Iran solely wanted a degree to advance however they had been largely restricted to enjoying on the counter and unable to muster a reputable try at scoring till the second half.

Substitute Saman Ghoddos, who changed Sardar Azmoun at half time, virtually pulled Iran stage after assembly an outstanding cross from Ramin Rezaeian whereas Morteza Pouraliganji met a free-kick with a diving header that went simply extensive deep in stoppage time.

Mehdi Taremi appealed for a penalty within the closing phases as he went down with Cameron Carter-Vickers making an attempt to cease him and his staff mates surrounded the referee however their protests had been waved away as Iran in the end didn’t register a shot on course.

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