Doha, Qatar (AP) – Christian Pulisic kicked the ball and scored the goal, colliding with the goalkeeperIt is the collision that sent the American star to the hospital and admitted the United States to the second round of the World Cup.
Over an hour later, he called his teammates via FaceTime to join in the celebration.
Pulisic’s goal was delayed in the 38th minute, and the United States beat Iran 1-0 on Tuesday night in a politically charged rematch to qualify for the World Cup’s knockout stage.
“Every player is ready to put their body on the line to make sure this team succeeds,” said quarterback Weston McKinney.
Finishing second in Group B on five points, two points behind England, the United States will play the Netherlands on Saturday with a chance of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time since 2002.
“I always say we’re against the world,” said winger Tim Weah, “because nobody thinks the United States can play good football.”
Returning to the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the United States needed a win to reach the Round of 16. Iran finished third in the group with three points and failed to progress in six World Cup matches.
“The dream is over,” said Iran coach Carlos Queiroz.
McKennie started the play for the goal when he lofted the ball over the halfway circle just to Sergiño Dest on the edge of the 6-yard box. Dest headed the ball in front of goal on a rebound as Pulisic sprinted down the middle of the field past Ramin Rezaian and Majid Hosseini.
Pulisic twisted his body, redirecting the ball with his right foot for his 22nd international goal and first in a World Cup match. His momentum pushed him past goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.
“Christian is the one who runs these things. That’s what he does. That’s his special quality,” USA coach Greg Berhalter said. “Once the ball is out, he gets aggressive into the penalty area and good things happen.”
Pulisic has been posted on the field and for about three minutes while receiving treatment. he is Try to continue playing But he was substituted at the start of the second half and was taken by sports coach Harris Patel for an abdominal examination at Hamad General Hospital, where he was Pulisic followed the game on mobile apps. The US Soccer Federation said Pulisic bruised his pelvis and returned to the team hotel swinging day after day.
“I sent him a text and checked on him, and he said, ‘I think I’ll be ready on Saturday,'” McKinney said.
Weah almost doubled the lead in the seventh minute of stoppage time in the first half, but offside.
Roaring Iranian fans with horns and drums in the crowd of 42,127 filled the lower bowl behind one goal at Thumama Stadium, a circular venue shaped like a gahfiya, a traditional hat.
While the United States outscored Iran 9-0 in the first half, Iran had a 4-3 advantage in the second half, knowing they only needed a tie to advance. Bring on Berhalter Walker Zimmermann in the 82nd minute and switch to a five-man defence.
Nine minutes of injury time was declared. Morteza Bouraliganji’s header in the third minute went wide. In the eighth minute, Cameron Carter-Vickers touched a hand on Mehdi Tarimi’s shoulder as the striker slid to Matt Turner, and the ball darted past the keeper only for Zimmermann to knock it out. Spain’s referee Antonio Mateo denied Iran’s request to review the video, and The final whistle blew after the tenth extra minute.
“I hope our fans and people in Iran will forgive us,” Tarimi said.
Turner gave the finals to the United States for the first time since 1930. Inside the locker room, teammates tried to talk Pulisic down.
“Everyone was screaming, so we couldn’t hear much,” Turner said. “He let it all out, put it all on the line there and managed to get the ball across the line.”
Carter Vickers, son of former NBA player Howard Carter, made his World Cup debut in place of Zimmerman and gave the United States an all-European lineup for the second time in a competitive game since Major League Soccer began in 1996, the first since the CONCACAF Cup. Gold 2011 against Jamaica.
Josh Sargent was hit on his right ankle in a 74th-minute challenge by Hosseini He left after three minutes.
The United States is 1-4 against the Netherlands, all friendlies.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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