Christian Pulisic fired the United States into the last 16 of the World Cup on Tuesday as the Americans downed Iran 1-0 in their politically charged grudge match.
Chelsea star Pulisic bundled home the do-or-die Group B game’s only goal on 38 minutes to set up a second round clash with Group A winners the Neth-erlands on Saturday.
“The first half we showed what we can do, soc-cer wise, the second half we showed what we could do determination wise,” US coach Gregg Berhalter said after the win. “The guys grinded, gave every single ounce and we are undefeated going into the next round.”
Pulisic left the field at half-time after sustaining a heavy knock while scoring his match-winning goal.
“I can’t say enough positive things about Chris-tian,” Berhalter said. “With this new injury it’s stressful. I think I have less hair on my head now. But we’ll take it and move on and go battle against Holland.”
The victory was no less than Berhalter’s youthful side deserved in what was only the third international football clash between the bitter ideological rivals.—AFP