The United States is through to the knockout stages

After managing only two points in two games, the U.S. got the job done against Iran and is moving on to play the Netherlands.

Eric Lee, Writer

It’s a party in the USA. The United States defeated Iran 1-0 to seal their spot in the Round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup.

The U.S. delivered in this win-or-go-home match, fighting hard to defeat Iran. From the start of kickoff, the U.S. showed its dominance and never let its foot off the gas. It was a relentless attack and they had an expected goal of 0.86 compared to Iran’s zero in the first half. Chance after chance came for the U.S. but they could not finish them.

It was not until the 38th minute that the U.S. finally scored. A well-worked goal that started from a pass from goalkeeper Matt Turner to the midfield, followed by a series of passes moving up  the field that led to midfielder Weston McKinnie finding the run of defender Sergiño Dest, who headed the ball into the path of forward Christian Pulisic, slotting it home into the back of the net. Talk about taking one for the team because Pulisic took a knee into the abdomen from the Iranian goalkeeper. Pulisic would carry on for the remainder of the first half but would be subbed off at the start of the second half. It has been confirmed that Pulisic has been diagnosed with a pelvic contusion and his status has been listed as day-to-day.

The U.S. thought they had their second goal when it got wiped due to forward Timothy Weah’s goal being ruled offside. In the second half, it was pure determination from the team to defend for their lives. In the last 20 minutes of the game, Iran piled immense pressure on the U.S. Iran had two good chances to score off crosses, but both chances were squandered. One of them being saved, with the other missing the net. The U.S. suffered another injury in the second half as forward Josh Sargent seemed to suffer an ankle or achilles injury that made him leave the pitch. 

Manager Gregg Berhalter was proud of his team’s performance. “The first half we showed what we could do soccer wise,” said Berhalter in his post-match interview. “The second half we showed what we could do determination wise.”

The U.S. will now shift its focus to the Netherlands. The Netherlands finished at the top of their group with seven points. They are a well-rounded team that is defensively strong led by star defender Virgil van Dijk. They have one of the hottest players in the tournament in forward Cody Gakpo who has scored three goals in three games. The U.S. will have to find a way to stop him from scoring. The game plan used against England may be something the U.S. will consider taking on the Netherlands. Once again the U.S. will be the underdogs entering the match, but the way they have been playing you cannot count them out.

Facebook Comments