After defeating Iran 1-0, the United States advanced to the World Cup’s knockout stages as Group B runners-up. In a shootout for qualification, the USA relished the pressure, playing with great energy and attacking intent until Pulisic bundled home the game-winning goal in 38 minutes. In that brave action, the Chelsea player injured his hip and did not return for the second half. Later, it was revealed that he had been taken to a nearby hospital with an abdominal injury.
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No update [on Pulisic’s fitness], but it is a wonderful thing when one of your best players is one of the hardest working,” USA coach Gregg Berhalter said. And he certainly is; I can’t say enough good things about Christian. The USA missed his influence as the game progressed, but despite having plenty of territories, Iran couldn’t find the quality to score an equalizer that would have sent them through. The United States will now face the Netherlands in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday at 3 p.m., after Louis van, Gaal’s side defeated hosts Qatar.
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The onus was on the USA to make the race because they knew nothing, but a win would suffice for qualification. Sergino Dest and Antonee Robinson were playing more like wingers than full-backs, and their intensity out wide set the tone for USA’s barnstorming first half. Timothy Weah was the main beneficiary of the lively USA attacks, but he lacked composure at key moments, first looping a rushed header from 12 yards straight at Alireza Beiranvand before rushing a finish moments later after some superb play from the lively Josh Sargent.
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