USA defeat Iran 1-0, advance to World Cup knockout stage
It’s official: the USA has advanced to the World Cup Round of 16. Gregg Berhalter’s side triumphed over Iran 1-0, earning the right to face the Netherlands next. Not only is it a great victory for US Soccer, it’s a victory for everyone else. With Iran out of the World Cup, we won’t have to listen to Iranian state media ask the dumbest questions of the tournament.
Christian Pulisic scored the lone goal of the contest and was injured in the process. Fullback Sergiño Dest had an excellent headed assist on the goal as well.
The match, of course, was not without controversy. US-Iranian relations are, well, not friendly to say the least.
Pre-match saw the USMNT players and coaches badgered by state media that sounded more like drunk uncles at Thanksgiving than journalists. Questions ranged from American racial discrimination to US Navy warships in the Persian Gulf.
To top it off there were reports that Iranian players’ families would be punished and even tortured if they did not “behave” during the match. I personally don’t entirely buy it, but that’s for you to determine.
Both sides saw ample chances throughout the match, but the Americans exhibited more quality over the 90 minutes plain and simple. That being said, the final 30 minutes were some of the worst I’ve seen from
Gio Reyna remained an unused substitute, so the win kept Gregg Berhalter’s head off the chopping block. But Shaq Moore and Haji Wright came into the biggest match of their lives and played like it was an intramural league.
Regardless, the USA got the win, and here are some key moments from the match that sent us to the Round of 16:
38′ – Christian “Stuxnet” Pulisic laid his nuts on the line to put the USA up 1-0:
Coincidentally, this goal cemented Pulisic as the new Ayatollah of Iran. Congrats, Christian!
46′ – Brenden Aaronson replaces the injured Pulisic to start the second half
74′ – Striker Josh Sargent was injured by an awkward tackled, Haji Wright came in to replace him:
As frustrating as the final minutes of the match were, the boys got the win for the good ole USA. And with that, I leave you with this: