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The Sports Report: U.S. advances to World Cup Round of 16

Christian Pulisic of the United States scores the only goal of the match.
(Manu Fernandez / Associated Press)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Kevin Baxter in Qatar: When referee Antonio Mateu’s final whistle blew, goalkeeper Matt Turner broke into tears, captain Tyler Adams dropped to his knees and defender Cameron Carter-Vickers threw both hands in the air in celebration and relief.

Christian Pulisic celebrated at the hospital. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

The U.S. needed a victory over Iran to get to the World Cup’s final 16 and it got what it came for Tuesday, but just barely. The 1-0 win didn’t come easily or painlessly, especially for Pulisic, who scored the game’s only goal.

But the Americans, who will face the Netherlands in a knockout game Saturday, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“You’re going to have to suffer a lot during these games,” Adams said. “That’s part of the game.”

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Defender Tim Ream suffered. A month he ago, he wasn’t in the picture for Qatar, having gone more than a year without an appearance for the national team. But when injuries opened up a spot, he stepped in and played all 270 minutes for the unbeaten U.S. (1-0-2) in the group stage, fending off wave and wave of Iranian attackers in the last 15 of those minutes.

“You have to you have to enjoy that adversity, you have to enjoy the pressure that comes with a team throwing everything at you,” he said. “If you don’t, it and you start panicking, then bad things happen. I looked around and saw 11 calm guys on the field doing everything they could, putting their bodies on the line to make sure that result. And what a fantastic result it is.”

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Tuesday’s results

Group A
Netherlands 2, Qatar 0
Senegal 2, Ecuador 1

Country, W-D-L, GD, Pts
y-Netherlands, 2-1-0, +4, 7
y-Senegal, 2-0-1, +1, 6
x-Ecuador, 1-1-1, +1, 4
x-Qatar, 0-0-3, -6, 0

Group B
England 3, Wales 0
United States 1, Iran 0

Country, W-D-L, GD, Pts
y-England, 2-1-0, +7, 7
y-United States, 1-2-0, +1, 5
x-Iran, 1-0-2, -3, 3
x-Wales, 0-1-2, -5, 1

Today’s schedule
All times Pacific

Group C
Poland vs. Argentina, 11 a.m., Fox, Universo, Peacock
Mexico vs. Saudi Arabia, 11 a.m., FS1, Telemundo, Peacock

Country, W-D-L, GD, Pts
Poland, 1-1-0, +2, 4
Argentina, 1-0-1, +1, 3
Saudi Arabia, 1-0-1, -1, 3
Mexico, 0-1-1, -2, 1

Group D
Australia vs. Denmark, 7 a.m., FS1, Telemundo, Peacock
Tunisia vs. France, 7 a.m., Fox, Universo, Peacock

Country, W-D-L, GD, Pts
y-France, 2-0-0, +4, 6
Australia, 1-0-1, -2, 3
Denmark, 0-1-1, -1, 1
Tunisia, 0-1-1, -1, 1

Other Groups

Group E
Country, W-D-L, GD, Pts
Spain, 1-1-0, +7, 4
Japan, 1-0-1, 0, 3
Costa Rica, 1-0-1, -6, 3
Germany, 0-1-1, -1, 1

Thursday: Japan vs. Spain, 11 a.m., FS1, Telemundo, Peacock
Thursday: Costa Rica vs. Germany, 11 a.m., Fox, Universo, Peacock

Group F
Country, W-D-L, GD, Pts
Croatia, 1-1-0, +3, 4
Morocco, 1-1-0, +2, 4
Belgium, 1-0-1, -1, 3
x-Canada, 0-0-2, -4, 0

Thursday: Croatia vs. Belgium, 7 a.m., Fox, Universo, Peacock
Thursday: Canada vs. Morocco, 7 a.m., FS1, Telemundo, Peacock

Group G
Country, W-D-L, GD, Pts
y-Brazil, 2-0-0, +3, 6
Switzerland, 1-0-1, 0, 3
Cameroon, 0-1-1, -1, 1
Serbia, 0-1-1, -2, 1

Friday: Serbia vs. Switzerland, 11 a.m., FS1, Universo, Peacock
Friday: Cameroon vs. Brazil, 11 a.m., Fox, Telemundo, Peacock

Group H
Country, W-D-L, GD, Pts
y-Portugal, 2-0-0, +3, 6
Ghana, 1-0-1, 0, 3
South Korea, 0-1-1, -1, 1
Uruguay, 0-1-1, -2, 1

Friday: Ghana vs. Uruguay, 7 a.m., Fox, Telemundo, Peacock
Friday: South Korea vs. Portugal, 7 a.m., FS1, Universo, Peacock

x-eliminated
y-clinched Round of 16
Note: Top two in each group advance to the Round of 16.

Round of 16 schedule

Saturday
United States vs. Netherlands, 7 a.m., Fox
1st place Group C (1C) vs. 2nd place Group D (2D), 11 a.m., Fox

Sunday
1D vs. 2C, 7 a.m., FS1
England vs. Senegal, 11 a.m., FS1

Monday
1E vs. 2F, 7 a.m., Fox
1G vs. 2H, 11 a.m., Fox

Tuesday, Dec. 6
1F vs. 2E, 7 a.m., Fox
1H vs. 2G, 11 a.m., Fox

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Complete World Cup coverage

Qatar World Cup: Start times for every match and how to watch

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Christian Pulisic taken to hospital during U.S. win over Iran at World Cup

Qatar official: ‘Between 400 and 500’ worker deaths tied to World Cup

World Cup: Americans’ goal is to win in knockout phase

CLIPPERS

From Andrew Greif: No one can be sure yet what these Clippers eventually will become, whether their injuries will recede, whether continuity ever will emerge, and whether that first championship they aspire to will materialize.

But on an otherwise nondescript Tuesday in November, on the way to an 18-point comeback in the final 15 minutes of a 118-112 win in Moda Center, they looked like a team that has yet to lose its fight even as it has lost numerous teammates to the injury report, losing time in the process.

This comeback looked like backup guard Norman Powell ripping into the lane with his dribble, finishing with layups at will and scoring 22 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter.

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LAKERS

Today is the final day to vote in our readers survey of the 10 greatest Lakers of all time. Minneapolis and Los Angeles are included, so don’t hesitate to put someone like George Mikan on your list. Compile your list of the 10 greatest Lakers, in order from 1 to 10, and email it to houston.mitchell@latimes.com by midnight tonight. Results will be announced sometime in December.

USC FOOTBALL

From J. Brady McCollough: The nation’s focus will be on Las Vegas on Friday night when USC and Utah play for the Pac-12 championship.

“That’s the only drama left,” ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit said Tuesday night after the College Football Playoff rankings reveal.

Based on the CFP selection committee’s ranking of the Trojans as No. 4, USC is in the playoff with a win over the Utes. But what if USC loses? That’s where things would get interesting.

The playoff has never invited a two-loss team into the field, and it is unlikely to break that precedent for a USC squad whose best win would be at No. 15 Oregon State by a score of 17-14.

Waiting in the wings is Ohio State, 11-1, at No. 5. It would be easy enough for the committee to bump the Buckeyes to the fourth spot, but do they really deserve a trip to the playoff after being pulverized by rival Michigan, 45-23, on their home field in the last game of the season?

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The Wolverines ran away from Ohio State, winning the second half by a 28-3 margin, which should be the lasting image for the committee — despite the strength of Ohio State’s win over No. 8 Penn State in Happy Valley. The Buckeyes and Trojans each share an 11-point win over No. 21 Notre Dame.

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Caleb Williams copes with Heisman hype by focusing on leading USC to a title

UCLA FOOTBALL

From Ben Bolch: UCLA fans watching the Pac-12 Conference championship football game Friday might be tempted to utter two appalling words: fight on.

A USC victory over Utah at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas would enhance the Bruins’ chances of being selected for the Alamo Bowl, the best possible postseason outcome for a team that finished in a tie for fifth place in the Pac-12 alongside Oregon State.

That scenario would take some leapfrogging, and a lot of fortuitous falling of dominoes between Friday and bowl selection announcements Sunday afternoon. Derrick Fox, president and chief executive officer of the Alamo Bowl, told The Times on Tuesday that the Bruins (9-3 overall, 6-3 Pac-12) remained in play for the Pac-12’s top consolation prize after the College Football Playoff and the Rose Bowl.

UCLA BASKETBALL

Aliyah Boston, looking healthy as ever, had 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks as No. 1 South Carolina rallied from 10-points down to beat No. 15 UCLA 73-64 on Tuesday night.

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Boston had missed the second half in a win over Hampton on Sunday after a hard fall. She returned to the bench in that game with a walking boot on her right foot.

But Boston started and played 35 minutes against the Bruins (7-1) to help the Gamecocks (7-0) overcome a 31-21 deficit right before halftime to win their 17th straight over a ranked opponent.

Charisma Osborne led UCLA with 24 points while freshman Kiki Rice scored 16.

Early on UCLA and Rice upped the pace and took things right into the heart of South Carolina’s smothering defense to build a 10-point lead late in the second quarter.

KINGS

Andre Burakovsky had two goals, including the winner in overtime, and the Seattle Kraken defeated the Kings 9-8 on Tuesday night in the highest-scoring NHL game this season.

Burakovsky scored on the power play at 2:08 of the extra session to give Seattle the second six-game winning streak in franchise history.

Gabe Vilardi had two goals for the Kings, but Cal Petersen allowed four goals on 16 shots after replacing Jonathan Quick early in the second period. Anze Kopitar, Viktor Arvidsson, Carl Grundstrom, Adrian Kempe, Sean Durzi and Mikey Anderson also scored for the Kings.

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DUCKS

Roman Josi scored at 3:50 of overtime to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 victory over the Ducks on Tuesday night.

Juuse Saros made 34 saves and Colton Sissons also scored for the Predators, who have won two of their last three games. Matt Duchene had two assists.

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1941 — The Chicago Bears score 49 points in the second half to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 49-13.

1948 — Baseball’s Negro National League disbands.

1956 — Floyd Patterson knocks out Archie Moore in the fifth round to win the world heavyweight title in Chicago.

1969 — Russ Jackson throws a record four touchdowns to lead the Ottawa Rough Riders to a 29-11 victory over Saskatchewan Roughriders in the CFL Grey Cup championship.

1979 — Sugar Ray Leonard wins the WBC welterweight title with 15th-round knockout of Wilfred Benitez in Las Vegas.

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1987 — Bo Jackson, also an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals, rushes for 221 yards to lead the Los Angeles Raiders to a 37-14 rout of the Seattle Seahawks. Jackson, playing in his fifth NFL game, scores on runs of 91 and 2 yards and has a 14-yard touchdown reception.

1990 — Boston’s Larry Bird scores his 20,000th career point in the Celtics’ 123-95 win over Washington at the Garden. Bird is the fifth player in league history (along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Havlicek, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West) to gather 20,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists in his playing career.

1991 — San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk becomes the first freshman to capture the national rushing and scoring titles after gaining 154 yards in 27 carries in a 39-12 loss to top-ranked Miami.

1996 — Michael Jordan becomes the 10th player in NBA history to reach 25,000 points after scoring 35 in the Bulls 97-88 win at San Antonio. Jordan reaches 25,000 in 782 games, faster than any other player but Wilt Chamberlain (691).

2003 — Mark Philippoussis gives Australia its 28th Davis Cup title, fighting off a shoulder injury that nearly forces him to retire after the fourth set to beat Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 2-6, 6-0.

2008 — Keith Tkachuk reaches 1,000 career points with the tying goal late in the second period in St. Louis’ 4-2 victory over Atlanta.

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2008 — Oakland has only one catch by a wide receiver in its 20-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and that officially was for 0 yards by Ronald Curry on a hook-and-lateral play.

2012 — NBA Commissioner David Stern fines the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 for “a disservice to the league and our fans” when they don’t bring Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili or Danny Green to Miami for the final game of a six-game trip.

2012 — Georgetown and Tennessee hold each other scoreless over the final four minutes, and the Hoyas beat the Volunteers 37-36 in a display of abysmal shooting in the SEC/Big East Challenge. The teams combine to make just 7 of 20 shots — from the free throw line. The field-goal shooting is just as horrid, with the Vols making 33% and the Hoyas 36%.

2013 — Chris Davis races 100-plus yards with a missed field-goal attempt for a touchdown on the final play to lift No. 4 Auburn to a 34-28 victory over No. 1 Alabama. Davis catches the ball about 9 yards deep in the end zone after freshman Adam Griffith’s 57-yard attempt falls short. He sprints down the left sideline and cuts back with nothing but teammates around him in a second straight hard-to-fathom finish for the Tigers.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

The incredible ending to the 2013 Auburn-Alabama game, as called by the Auburn announcers. Watch and listen here.

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Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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