PHOENIX RISING FC

United States advances to World Cup round of 16 after beating Iran

Nov 29, 2022, 2:03 PM | Updated: Dec 2, 2022, 7:23 pm
Christian Pulisic of the United States, 2nd right, shoots to score his sides first goal past Iran's...

Christian Pulisic of the United States, 2nd right, shoots to score his sides first goal past Iran's goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, left, during the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the United States at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

The United States men’s national soccer team is heading to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 after defeating Iran 1-0 on Tuesday in Qatar.

U.S. winger Christian Pulisic opened the scoring in the 38th minute thanks to this bit of combination play:

United States right back Sergino Dest had the assist.

The 24-year-old Pulisic joins elite USMNT company as one of only five players to have both a goal and an assist in a single World Cup in the modern era after the likes of Bruce Murray (1990), Clint Mathis (2002), John O’Brien (2002) and Jermaine Jones (2014).

“Obviously we’re very thankful that he threw his body there,” U.S. midfielder Weston McKennie told reporters postgame. “At the end it was a heart-drop sinking moment, but we got it done and we’re excited to still be here.”

However, a pelvic contusion sustained on the goal forced United States manager Gregg Berhalter to put Brenden Aaronson in for Pulisic at halftime.

“I think that’s the American spirit, the way this group plays, and I think people will appreciate that,” Berhalter said.

Pulisic is listed as day-to-day, but posted on social media that he was proud of his teammates and would “be ready Saturday, don’t worry.”

The U.S. came into the match knowing that anything other than a victory would result in the team’s elimination from the competition. It also marks the seventh time and third consecutive World Cup in which the USMNT has qualified for the knockout stages after failing to qualify for the tournament’s previous edition in 2018 in Russia.

The United States has kept two clean sheets through three group stage games and has yet to allow a goal in open play. The lone conceded goal came off of the left foot of Welsh forward Gareth Bale on a penalty. Goalkeeper Matt Turner’s back-to-back shutouts are also the first in USMNT World Cup history.

“I always say it’s us against the world,” United States forward Tim Weah said. “No one believed the U.S. could play good football.”

EXTRA TIME

– Tuesday’s U.S. lineup was also the youngest to play in Qatar thus far at an average age of 24 years and 321 days.

– The USMNT practiced at Phoenix Rising FC’s former facilities at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler during the team’s January camp.

UP NEXT

The United States will take on the Netherlands in the Round of 16 on Saturday at 8 a.m.

Our World Cup coverage is presented by Estrella Jalisco.

The Associated Press contributed quotes to this story.

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