FIFA World Cup 2022: Christian Pulisic fires USA past Iran into Round of 16 before being sent to hospital, WATCH
Christian Pulisic’s 38th-minute goal held up, and the United States beat Iran 1-0 on Tuesday (November 29) in their politically charged rematch to advance to the World Cup’s knockout stage.
Christian Pulisic kicked the ball, scored the goal and then crashed into the goalkeeper, a collision that sent the American star to the hospital and the United States into the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2022. More than an hour later, he contacted his teammates by FaceTime to join the celebration.
Pulisic’s 38th-minute goal held up, and the United States beat Iran 1-0 on Tuesday (November 29) in their politically charged rematch to advance to the World Cup’s knockout stage. “Every single player is ready to lay their body on the line to make sure this team is successful,” United States midfielder Weston McKennie said.
The Americans finished second in Group B with five points, two behind England, and will play the Netherlands on Saturday with the chance to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002. “I always say it’s us against the world,” forward Tim Weah said. “No one believed the US could play good football.”
WATCH highlights of USA win over Iran here…
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Pulisic was sprawled on the field and lying in the goal for about three minutes as he received treatment from the US staff. He tried to continue playing but was substituted at the start of the second half with Brenden Aaronson and taken for abdominal scans. US Soccer said Pulisic suffered a pelvic contusion and was day to day. He left the hospital and returned to the team hotel.
“I sent him a text and checked on him, and he said, 'Best believe I'll be ready on Saturday,'” McKennie said.
US coach Gregg Berhalter said Pulisic felt dizziness after the collision. Back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the US opened with draws against Wales and England and needed a victory to reach the round of 16.
Iran finished third in the group with three points. The team has failed to advance in all six of its World Cup appearances. “The dream is over with this result,” Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said. “The US started the game much better than us, more quick with better control of the game.”
Raucous Iranian fans with horns and drums in the crowd of 42,127 filled the lower bowl behind one goal at Al Thumama Stadium and were far louder than the red-white-and-blue U.S. supporters at the other end and behind the American bench. The US outshot Iran 9-0 in the first half but didn’t break through until Pulisic came up with the big moment that a growing and increasingly demanding fan base back home had been pining for.
Weah, who scored the Americans’ goal in the opening 1-1 draw with Wales, nearly doubled the lead in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time but was ruled offside. With England ahead of Wales, Iran knew it needed only a draw to advance and finally got its first shot at goalkeeper Matt Turner when Saman Ghoddos put a header over the crossbar in the 52nd minute. Saeid Ezatolahi put an open shot high and wide in the 70th and Morteza Pouraliganji’s diving header in the third minute of nine minutes of stoppage time went just wide.
(with PTI inputs)