DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic kicks the ball and hits the goal keeperA collision sent the American star to the hospital and sent the U.S. into the second round of the World Cup.
More than an hour later, he contacted his teammates via FaceTime to join in the celebration.
Pulisic’s 38th-minute goal sealed the deal, and the United States beat Iran 1-0 on Tuesday night in a political rematch to advance to the World Cup’s knockout stage.
“Every player is willing to put their body on the line to make sure this team wins,” midfielder Weston McKenney said.
After finishing second in Group B with five points, two behind England, the U.S. plays the Netherlands on Saturday with a chance to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002.
“I always say it’s against the world,” said winger Tim Weah, “and no one believes America can play good soccer.”
Back at the World Cup after missing out on the 2018 tournament, the USA needed a win to advance to the round of 16. Iran finished third in the group with three points and failed to advance in six World Cup matches.
“The dream is over,” Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said.
McKenney opened the play for goal when he lifted the ball from the center circle to Sergino Test on the edge of the 6-yard box. Test headed the ball with a bounce in front of the net as Pulcic rose up the center of the field past Ramin Rezaian and Majid Hosseini.
Twisting his body, Pulisic deflected the ball with his right foot for his 22nd international goal and first in a World Cup game. His pace took him past goalkeeper Alireza Beirenwand.
“Christian makes those runs. That’s what he does. That’s what makes him special,” said US coach Greg Berhalter. “Once the ball is wide, he goes into the penalty box with intensity and good things happen.”
Pulisic was sprawled on the field He was treated for about three minutes. He Tried to keep playing But he was substituted at the start of the second half and athletic trainer Haris Patel was taken to Hamad General Hospital for an abdominal examination. Pulisic followed the game on a phone app. The U.S. Soccer Federation said Pulisic had been diagnosed with a groin obstruction and had returned to the team hotel and was on a day-to-day basis.
“I texted him and checked on him, and he said, ‘I’ll be ready on Saturday,'” McKenney said.
Weah doubled the lead in the seventh minute of first half stoppage time Adjudged offside.
A crowd of 42,127 raucous Iranian fans with horns and drums filled the lower bowl behind a goal at Al Thumama Stadium, a circular space shaped like a traditional cap, the kaffia.
The U.S. outscored Iran 9-0 in the first half, and Iran took a 4-3 lead in the second half, knowing it only needed a draw to advance. Berhalder replaced Walker Zimmermann in the 82nd minute to a five-man defence.
A stoppage time of nine minutes was announced. In the third minute, Mortesa Bowraliganchi’s diving header went just wide. In the eighth minute, Cameron Carter-Vickers got a hand on Mehdi Daremi’s shoulder, striker Matt Turner slid in and the ball went past the goalkeeper for Zimmerman to clear. Spanish referee Antonio Mateu denied Iran’s appeal for a video review The final whistle blew after the 10th extra minute.
“I hope our fans and our people in Iran will forgive us,” Taremi said.
Turner made it the first time since 1930 that back-to-back World Cup wins had stopped for the United States. Inside the locker room, teammates tried to talk to Pulisic.
“Everybody was screaming, so we couldn’t hear too much,” Turner said. “He left everything, put everything out there on the line and was able to get the ball across the line.”
Carter-Vickers, the son of former NBA player Howard Carter, replaced Zimmerman in his World Cup debut and gave the U.S. a completely European-based lineup for the second time in a tournament since Major League Soccer’s inception in 1996. From the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Jamaica.
Josh Sargent injured his right ankle in a 74th-minute challenge from Hosseini And leave after three minutes.
The U.S. is 1-4 against the Netherlands, all friendly nations.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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