USMNT advances to FIFA World Cup knockout stage

In a testy battle between Iran and USA, the US won 1-0 and advanced to the knockout stages


Eamon Shaw, Staff Reporter

At 10 pm in Al Thumama, Qatar, Christian Pulisic and the US men’s national team were cemented into American soccer history. The US has advanced out of the FIFA World Cup group stage for the first time since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Before the match, the United States had to win and get three points against Iran to advance to the next stage of the World Cup. Tensions were higher than ever and there was no doubt the match was politically charged. 

Days before the match, the United States Men’s national team tweeted an Iranian flag without the center-piece symbol. Iran called for disciplinary action from FIFA against the United States. In a press conference before the match, US coach Gregg Berhalter said, “The players and staff knew nothing about it, we believe it is going to be a match that the result will depend on who puts more effort in, we aren’t focused on the outside things.” 

As soon as the ball was kicked off in Al Thumama, Qatar, tensions on the pitch were astronomical.. It was evident the United States would have to put effort in to break down an Iranian team that only needed a draw to advance. Iran would have advanced with a nil-nil scoreline. The United States couldn’t seem to break down Iran in the first 30 minutes of the match, but 38 minutes into the match, American Starboy,

Christian Pulisic scored the goal that took  the US into the next stage. Pulisic sacrificed his body for a goal as Sergino Dest headed  across into the middle for Pulisic to volley in. Pulisic collided with Iranian goalkeeper and was later taken to the hospital for an apparent abdominal injury. 

After nearly 100 minutes of the match played, the final whistle blew, and the US had advanced to the next stage of the FIFA World Cup.

Iran and Wales were eliminated out of Group B. The US was not  predicted to advance out of the group stage, but after a draw with Wales and England and three points against Iran, the youngest squad in the FIFA World Cup made dreams into reality and advanced to the Round of 16. The US will face the Netherlands in the Round of 16 Saturday, at 8am. To keep up with the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the United States journey, check out Eaton Red Ink weekly for World Cup news.