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Iran 0-1 USA: World Cup 2022 – as it happened

Christian Pulisic scored a first-half winner and went off injured at half-time as the US held off Iran who had a late penalty appeal turned down

Nick Ames’ match report is now in, so I’ll shut things down here. A disciplined, mature performance from the young American team sets up a clash with the Netherlands on Saturday. We’ll see you then.

Christian Pulisic strike guides the USA past Iran to set up Netherlands clash
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Alex Greenberg didn’t think much of Gregg Berhalter’s leadership in that game:

“Berhalter needs to sub earlier and more,” he writes. “You’ve got players dead on their feet and he’s holding back his substitutions. It was a miracle we pulled that off.”

Kurt Perleberg has other views: “This was the greatest soccer game I ever saw.”

Weston McKennie speaks to Fox Sports:

“We’re a really close group of guys. We love the pressure. We have our own swagger, our own style,” he says.

Asked about Pulisic he says: “We’re very thankful that he put his body there. But we have 25 other guys who would do the same thing.”

The US will play Netherlands in the next round. England advance as group winners after their victory over Wales, and will play Senegal.

US coach Gregg Berhalter is interviewed on Fox Sports. He is asked how he feels about his young team.

“Proud. The first half we showed what we could do soccer wise. The second half we showed what we could do determination wise.”

He is asked about Christian Pulisic’s injury, which he sustained as he scored the game’s only goal. He says there is “no update”. He adds: “I can’t say enough [good things] about Christian.”

Iran look devastated. It must have been an incredibly draining tournament for them as they contended with the Qatari heat and the pressure of events off the pitch as turmoil in their home country continues.

The US have now reached the last 16 in their last three World Cup appearances. Christian Pulisic was devastated when the Americans missed out on Russia 2018 and it was Pulisic who put his body (and possibly his testicles) on the line as he scored the winner.

The US have done it! They are through to the last 16. It was an incredibly tense finish as Iran had that penalty shout but the US were deserved winner. They had the lion’s share of the chances and possession and Turner didn’t have to make a save worth its name in the 90 (plus) minutes.

Joy at the final whistle for USA

90 min+9: Wright has a brilliant chance. He should probably have run the ball into the corner but shoots. And it’s a terrible one.

VAR REVIEW! Did Carter-Vickers foul Taremi as he bore down on goal?!! No! Play on.

90 min+7: Another throw for the US, who are running down the clock well/giving themselves no time to come back after Iran’s miraculous equaliser.

90 min+6: Jalali is booked as he pulls down Musah, who is looking to break. Cameron-Vickers takes a looooong time with the free-kick. Understandably.

90 min+5: Ghoddos whizzes down the left but dribbles the ball out to give the US another breather.

90 min+4: Play slows down for the US as they win a throw.

90 min+3: Free-kick to Iran to the left of the area. It’s a wicked, whipped ball and Pouraliganji’s diving header whisks just wide of Turner’s near post.

90 min +2: Iran play the ball around patiently given that they need to score very soon. ZImmerman heads a cross clear. Just about.

90 min: Musah loses the ball after he stumbles but Iran’s attack breaks down (no) thanks to a poorly placed ball.

89 min: Iran win their first corner, a minute short of the regulation 90. It was not worth waiting for. The US clear. “Is it just me or do you hear a beeping sound? It must the the US bus reversing into its parking spot in the 18-yard box,” says Peter Oh.

88 min: Nine minutes of added time. This is going to be tense.

87 min: Iran try a patient build-up before a pretty poor through-ball is hit too far and ambles into Matt Turner’s loving arms. Then the US have a chance at the other end but Iran scramble clear.

85 min: The next 10 minutes or so, will be a wave of Iran attacks. Not great for the nerves of either set of fans.

83 min: Iran shout for a penalty as the ball rolls up Moore’s body after that free-kick. It’s not given. The US have five at the back now.

If you’re joining us from the US and want to get daily updates on the World Cup in your inbox every morning then might we interest you in First Thing? It covers all the US and global news you need to know each day, as well as a round-up of the latest updates from Qatar 2022, written by me.

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82 min: Weah clips Jalali and Iran have a set-piece around 45-yards from the US goal. Zimmerman and Moore are on for Dest and Weah. The US are looking to preserve their lead rather than search for a killer second goal.

80 min: Ansarifard is on for Gholizadeh. Iran shout for a free-kick as Carter-Vickers muscles out the busy Ghoddos but the ref waves play on.

78 min: Hosseini is booked for a foul on Aaronson. And Wright comes on for Sargent, who played well this evening.

76 min: USA are down to 10 men as Sargent continues to be treated off the pitch.

75 min: Sargent is being treated after landing heavily – looks like he may have tweaked his knee. One of his knees – he has two.

73 min: The game has slowed a little as it nears its end. A little strange seeing as Iran need to score.

71 min: Torabi comes on for Noorollahi.

69 min: A handball from Iran sets up a free-kick for the US around 25 yards out in the centre of the pitch. Acosta and Musah debate who will take it. It’s the birthday boy who gets the opportunity, but Musah sends the ball over. “A couple of these young American players (McKennie, Weah) look faster on the ball than most of their opponents off it. Some impressive fleetness,” says Alex Whitney.

66 min: Ghoddos has had two good looks at goal this half and has failed to hit the target twice. This time he finds himself free-ish in the area and curls the ball past the far post. Acosta is on for the US in place of McKennie.

64 min: Rezaeian goes down hard and cries out in pain, loudly enough to be heard above the Iranian fans (although maybe he just landed near a microphone). He’s fine to continue though.

62 min: Iran’s fans continue to make it sound like they’re the home team. Rezaeian has plenty of time to pick out his man on a cross from the right but Ream clears well.

“A definite candidate for the daily pedant award, but Tyler Adams’ name technically covers three US presidents, not two, as both John Adams and John Quincy Adams were presidents,” writes Matt Guthrie. No wonder the guys is such a good leader.

59 min: Taremi strays an inch or four offside. They’re looking distinctly zingy in the last few minutes.

57 min: Two corners in succession for the US. Neither achieve much.

Elsewhere, England have scored twice against Wales and are 2-0 up. They will almost certainly go through as group winners. You can follow the match here:

Wales v England: World Cup 2022 – live
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55 min: Sargent, whose build-up play has been excellent today, releases Dest who bumbles into some Iranian defenders. That leaves the US exposed at the back and Cameron-Vickers does well to escort Taremi away from danger as he bursts into the box. It’s an open game as Iran go after the goal they need and the US look to kill the contest off.

52 min: Ghoddos, on as a sub, gets ahead of Dest and heads over the bar. Iran’s best (and only) real chance of the game. The ref and Gregg Berhalter are arguing about something. “I’m pretty sure no US president has fathered a top football (spherical version) player but Tyler Adams’ name covers two former commanders-in-chief,” says Peter Oh.

Weston McKennie gets away from Saman Ghoddos.

50 min: The US clearly want to get a second and save themselves from being vulnerable to a sucker punch from Iran. Pulisic’s injury is an abdominal one, according to Fox Sports. Not sure if that’s code for a knock to the unmentionables.

48 min: Sargent cuts in and unleashes a left-foot shot but Beiranvand blocks. The ball trickles away from the keeper but he smothers it before any Americans can pounce.

46 min: Pulisic is off after that heavy collision when he scored – we’re not sure of the exact diagnosis yet. Brenden Aaronson comes on as his replacement.

Here’s Kári Tulinius: “I have a cockamamie theory that the USMNT is always the team that most fits the vibes of each World Cup. ‘90 they went to Italy expecting to have fun, and didn’t. In ‘94 they had joy until Brazil rearranged their faces. ‘98, went to France expecting great things, but only France got great things. ‘02, when outsiders had good tournaments, they had their best since ‘30. ‘06, they drew with Italy but somehow lost. ‘10 they opened up new markets for football fandom. ‘14 they were a hot mess that somehow got to the second round. Let’s skip over Russia ‘18, but in retrospect maybe Fifa should’ve skipped over Russia in 2018. And in ‘22 they’re all midfield and no striker.”

The US have won their last eight matches in which Christian Pulisic has scored. Brendan May wants his fellow Brenda(e)n to get involved. “Think we need to go with Aaronson early for McKennie, perhaps even at the half. US waited too long against Wales,” he writes.

That was an excellent half for the US: they completely dominated Iran who, from the first minute, looked to be playing for the draw that will almost certainly put them through. The one criticism for the Americans would be the lack of a final ball after creating so much pressure from the wings. It’s worth bearing in mind that the US did this against Wales in the first-half too before fading badly.

Iran’s World Cup is far from over too: they only need one chance – which will surely come – to get back in this and go through.

“Timothy Weah’s appearance has me wondering which other international footballers have also been the sons of sitting heads of state,” writes Isaac Abraham. “The only other one I can think of is Al-Saadi Gaddafi!”

And that’s it for a dominant half for the US. Weah has the ball in the net but he’s just offside. A lovely finish from Weah though. At the moment, USA are going through as group runners up and will face the Netherlands. A long way to go though.

Joshua Reynolds may have diagnosed the true reason for Pulisic’s suffering: “I am in awe that he can go on after full speed kick in the balls.”

45 min +4: Dest breaks down the right but he overhits his pass to Weah. Goal-kick to Iran.

45 min+2: Mohammadi is down injured for Iran. Karimi trots on as his replacement.

45 min: A brilliant pass from Adams releases Sargent, who taps it to Weah on the edge of the area. Weah tries to return the compliment but his pass is a little off and Iran intercept. A surprisingly modest five minutes have been added on to the half.

44 min: Pulisic is back on. I wouldn’t be surprised if he struggles on until half-time and is reassessed then. If he’s concussed he should, obviously, be nowhere near the pitch.

43 min: Chance for Sargent who fires across the face of goal. The US clearly want to give their biggest star time to recover but for now they continue a man down. That extra man benefits Iran, and Adams concedes a foul – and yellow – as the Iranians break on the counter.

41 min: Pulisic is up on his feet but looks shaky. I’m not sure if he’ll be able to continue. For now, the US play with 10 men.

Pulisc is ion no fit state to celebrate his goal.

Well, that makes up for his terrible corners. Dest nods across the area and Pulisic taps home. It’s a brave effort as Beiranvand comes out to clear. The keeper’s knee smacks into Pulisic and he’s still being treated. A crucial strike but Pulisic looks like he has been badly hurt.

Christian Pulisic pounces to break the deadlock.
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