The United States team advanced to the World Cup’s Round of 16 on Tuesday by beating Iran 1-0 at Al Thumama Stadium, after Christian Pulisic headed the ball home in a Group B showdown, amid a cloud of controversy and decades of enmity between the two countries.
Pulisic’s 38th-minute goal proved enough for the US side to advance at the expense of their geopolitical rivals in an eagerly awaited rematch of their 1998 World Cup group stage meeting, which Iran had won 2-1.
Sergino Dest headed the ball into the path of the sprinting Pulisic, who swept it into the net, momentarily silencing the raucous Iranian supporters but crashing into the outstretched Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand in the process.
Pulisic was back on his feet after several minutes but he did not look comfortable and was replaced by Brenden Aaronson at the halftime break. He was later treated in hospital for an abdominal injury.
Iran only needed a point to advance but the US had largely restricted the Iranians to playing on the defence and with their win the US has finished two points behind Group B winners England to reach the last 16 for the fifth time since 1994.
“The dream is over with this result,” Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said after the game. “The US started the game much better than us, more quick with better control of the game.”
Source Al Jazeera
BDST: 1006 HRS, NOV 30, 2022