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U.S. advances to World Cup knockout stage after crucial win vs. Iran

The United States defeated Iran on Tuesday in a crucial game at the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar, advancing them to the knockout stage of the tournament. The Americans clinched the runner-up spot out of Group B and will join first-place England in the Round of 16.  Winning the game was the only way to advance to the knockout stage of the international tournament; the Americans will face Group A winner Netherlands in the Round of 16 at 10 a.m. EST Saturday at Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan. England, which won Group B, will face Group A runner-up Senegal in another Round of 16 match Sunday in Al Khor.

The U.S. scored their first and only goal of the match just over a third of the way through the first half when Christian Pulisic came sprinting into the area, split defenders Ramin Rezaeian and Majid Hosseiniand and sliced a shot into the net past Iranian goalie Alireza Beiranvand before collapsing in pain. Beiranvand collided with Pulisic just after the shot, and Pulisic stayed on the ground until being looked at by trainers. U.S. Soccer said he sustained an abdominal injury during the play and would not return for the second half.  On Tuesday evening, the team shared an update on the injured Pulisic, tweeting that “forward Christian Pulisic has been diagnosed with a pelvic contusion and his status is day-to-day.”

U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter said after the game: “I think, in the first half, we showed what we could do soccer-wise … In the second half, we showed what we could do determination-wise.”  The team also posted on Twitter shortly after the game ended, thanking fans for their support and sharing their on-field excitement:  “At home and in Qatar, you were with us all 99+ minutes tonight. We felt the love. We felt the unwavering support. Thank you.”

Editorial credit: Vlad1988 / Shutterstock.com

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