Al Thumama : The United States men's national team won 1-0 against Iran on Tuesday at Al Thumama Stadium to finish second in Group B and qualify for the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup to play the Netherlands.
In the 38th minute, Christian Pulisic converted Sergino Dest's headed cross to provide the crucial advantage. He put his body on the line and later collided with Iran's goalkeeper, suffering an abdominal injury. Brenden Aaronson replaced Pulisic at halftime as a result of the injury, but for the US it was unquestionably a price worth paying as Gregg Berhalter's team held onto its lead in the second half to advance at Iran's expense.
The second half saw Iran struggle throughout the match and was never able to find its footing. After gaining an advantage in the first half, the USA lacked the same intensity in the second half while losing Pulisic to injury also did not help them.
Both teams played a goalless second half, with Iran coming second to the USA and hiring their chances of making it to the round of 16.
USA enjoyed a slender 1-0 advantage against Iran at the end of the first half after Christian Pulisic scored in the 38th minute at the Al Thumama stadium on Wednesday.
The American side stepped up their game as they needed a win to advance to the knockout stage of the ongoing FIFA World Cup. They found their hero in Pulisic as the Chelsea star found the back of the net to spark celebrations in his dugout.
If not for the offside in the final minute of the first half, they would have ended with a two-goal advantage over Iran. Timothy Weah scored in the wee minutes only to be denied the goal as he ventured too far ahead to be called offside.
The first half between the teams was electric as a lot was at stake for both. They went all out in their approach as it made for great viewership. The USA looked slightly ahead of Iran in the first 15 minutes as they were able to manoeuvre the ball cleverly and create chances to score.
They seemed to have momentum with them, since their players were able to breach the Iranian defence constantly, causing trouble for them.
Iran made their first inroad into the penalty area against the United States in the 31st minute as Nourollahi searched the area left behind. However, Englishman Turner collected the ball and outpaced him in speed.
The half saw Iran struggling to get forward as the USA kept making inroads in their defence. They failed to get out of their half and only had one lone attacking play in the half.
Iran were lucky to have avoided a second goal as it was called offside in the ending minutes of the first half.
The first half ended with the USA clearly happy off the two sides with Pulisic making a crucial contribution.