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

U.S. forward Christian Pulisic is assisted by trainers as he walks off the field after sustaining an abdominal injury.
U.S. forward Christian Pulisic is assisted by trainers as he walks off the field after sustaining an abdominal injury on a goal against Iran in the 38th minute Tuesday.
(Luca Bruno / Associated Press)

The United States defeated Iran on a goal by Christian Pulisic to advance to the round of 16 at the World Cup. The U.S. will face the Netherlands on Saturday.

Christian Pulisic taken to the hospital after injury on goal

Christian Pulisic, who scored the lone goal in the United States’ 1-0 win over Iran at the World Cup on Tuesday, was taken to the hospital to undergo a scan for an abdominal injury.

Pulisic scored in the 38th minute but collided with Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand on the play. Pulisic was down on the field for a few minutes before slowly getting up and walking off with trainers.

Play resumed with the U.S. opting not to sub out for Pulisic. He re-entered the game a couple minutes later and played out the rest of the first half, but he did not return to the field in the second half.


U.S. survives chaotic finish to defeat Iran and advance at World Cup

U.S. players (from left) Sean Johnson, Aaron Long and Yunus Musah celebrate after defeating Iran on Tuesday.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

AL THUMAMA, Qatar — Needing a victory to advance the final 16 of the World Cup, the U.S. took care of business Tuesday, edging Iran 1-0 on a Christian Pulisic goal late in the first half.

With the win the unbeaten U.S. (1-0-2) finished second to England in its group and will meet Group A champion the Netherlands in the Round of 16 on Saturday. Iran, meanwhile, goes home short of the knockout stages for the sixth time in an many visits to the World Cup.

But the Iranians didn’t make it easy on the Americans battling to the final minute of stoppage time that left the U.S. win in jeopardy until the final whistle. The U.S. weathered two prime scoring opportunities by the Iranians in a chaotic finish to punch their ticket to the next round.

The only goal the U.S. needed came in the 38th minute when Pulisic got a half-step on Iranian defenders Majid Hosseini and Ramin Rezaeian, allowing him to redirect a headed cross from Sergiño Dest into the net from inside the six-yard box.

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U.S. defeats Iran to advance at the World Cup

Iran's Mehdi Taremi, right, takes a shot as U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner squares up to make a save.
Iran’s Mehdi Taremi, right, takes a shot as U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner squares up to make a save in the final minutes of a 1-0 win for the U.S. at the World Cup on Tuesday.
(Manu Fernandez / Associated Press)

U.S. 1, Iran 0 — FINAL

The United States defeated Iran to advance to the round of 16 at the Qatar World Cup.

Christian Pulisic scored for the U.S. but suffered an abdominal injury on the play, forcing him to sit out the second half. The U.S. will play the Netherlands on Saturday. The U.S. win ended Iran’s run at the World Cup.

Iran’s Morteza Pouraliganji nearly scored off a header on a Ramin Rezaaeian cross pass in the 93rd minute, but the ball just went wide of the U.S. goal. Iran got another big chance in the 98th minute when a shot by Mehdi Taremi was blocked point-blank by U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Pulisic’s goal came in the 38th minute on a header pass from Sergino Dest.


Iran turning up the heat as U.S. tries to hold on

Yunus Musah of the United States, left, and Iran's Mahdi Torabi battle for the ball in the second half.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

⚽ U.S. 1, Iran 0 — Stoppage time +9

With its World Cup lives on the line, Iran is turning up the pressure and finding ways to put pressure on U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Iran is struggling to finish, though, with U.S. defenders sweeping the ball away. Turner has also been good at getting his hands on the ball on cross feeds.

Still, the U.S. needs to be careful. A foul inside the box dissolved their chances of victory in the team’s World Cup opener against Wales. They can’t afford a similar mistake down the stretch here.

There will be nine minutes of stoppage time.


Iran narrowly misses out on prime chance to tie game

Tyler Adams of the United States, left, challenges Iran's Ali Karimi during the second half.
(Manu Fernandez / Associated Press)

U.S. 1, Iran 0 — After 68 minutes

Iran forward Saman Ghoddos narrowly missed out on a prime scoring chance in the 64th minute when his open-look shot in the box went wide of the goalpost.

Sergino Dest couldn’t clear the ball on a challenge against Mehdi Taremi, allowing Ghoddos to get an open shot at the goal.

A few minutes later, the U.S. goal a free kick just outside the Iranian box, but Yunus Musah’s kick went over the net.


Iran playing more aggressively, but U.S. still getting better chances

U.S. forward Josh Sargent, right, shoots in front of Iran's Morteza Pouraliganji during the second half.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

U.S. 1, Iran 0 — After 57 minutes

Iran is playing more aggressively and chipping away at the United States’ dominance in possession time, but it really hasn’t led to prime scoring opportunities so far.

The U.S., meanwhile, is getting some strong chances with Brenden Aaronson and Josh Sargent causing havoc in front of the Iranian goal. Weston McKennie and Sergiño Dest have been instrumental in creating some of those scoring chances. Two U.S. corner kicks early in the second half, however, didn’t amount to anything.

The U.S. will advance with a win — and will be eliminated with a draw or loss.


Christian Pulisic will not play in the second half because of injury

U.S. 1, Iran 0 — Start of second half

Christian Pulisic did not return to the field after halftime after suffering an abdominal injury on his goal in the 38th minute for the United States.

U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed the nature of the injury to Fox Sports reporter Jenny Taft. Brenden Aaronsen was substituted in for Pulisic.

The U.S. continued to dominate in the opening minutes of the second half. It does not look like we’ll see a repeat of the Wales game.


U.S. leads at halftime on Christian Pulisic’s goal in the 38th minute

U.S. forward Tim Weah reacts after his goal late in the first half was negated by an offside call.
(Manu Fernandez / Associated Press)

U.S. 1, Iran 0 — Halftime

After 45 minutes of domination, the U.S. is just one half away from potentially advancing into the Round of 16 to play the Netherands.

Christian Pulisic’s goal in the 38th minute has given the U.S. a lead that was inches away from being doubled late in the first half. Tim Weah found the back of the next in extra time at the end of the first half, but the goal was negated after Weah was declared offside on the field and via video review.

The U.S. has outshot Iran 8-0 so far.


Christian Pulisic scores to give U.S. 1-0 lead over Iran

U.S. forward Christian Pulisic struggles to get up after scoring against Iran in the first half.
U.S. forward Christian Pulisic struggles to get up after scoring against Iran in the first half. Pulisic collided with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand on the play.
(Luca Bruno / Associated Press)

U.S. 1, Iran 0 — 38th minute

Christian Pulisic scored in the 38th minute to give the United States a lead late in the first half.

Pulisic collided heavily with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand on the goal and appeared to be seriously injured before he managed to re-enter the game a few minutes later.

The goal was set up when Weston McKennie found Sergino Dest on a long, cross-field feed. Dest then quickly got behind the Iran defense and headed the ball over to a sprinting Pulisic who scored off his right foot from close range.


Tim Weah can’t score on header in front of net

U.S. forward Tim Weah controls the ball against Iran.
(Ricardo Mazalan / Associated Press)

U.S. 0, Iran 0 — After 31 minutes

Tim Weah put a header on goal after getting isolated in front of the net, but it made for a relatively easy save for Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.

The play was set up off the United States’ first corner kick of the game. Weah got the ball after a shot by Josh Sargent was deflected into the air, coming down to Weah deep in the box. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t have much speed on it after the deflection and Beiranvand was right there to make a save.

The United States is dominating possession (62 percent) and putting constant pressure on Iran. The U.S. has taken six shots, including two on goal.


U.S. getting the majority of chances early against Iran

Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, left, makes a save in front of U.S. forward Tim Weah in the first half.
(Manu Fernandez / Associated Press)

U.S. 0, Iran 0 — After 21 minutes

It appears Iran is doing all it can to keep the game scoreless for as long as possible. It is stacking six, sometimes seven players in the box to try to thwart the United States’ efforts to take an early lead.

The Sergiño Dest-Tim Weah combo nearly found the back of the net. Dest made a beautiful feed inside to a sprinting Weah just outside the goal, only for Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand to get a hand on it.

Tim Ream thwarted a rush for Iran with a well-placed foot on a setup pass.


U.S. gets a couple chances early, but can’t capitalize

Iran's Ramin Rezaeian challenges U.S. forward Christian Pulisic, right, during the opening minutes.
(Manu Fernandez / Associated Press)

⚽ U.S. 0, Iran 0 — After 12 minutes

U.S. has opened the game controlling the tempo more or less through the first 10 minutes.

The best scoring chance came in the 11th minute when Christian Pulisic headed the ball off a Yunus Musah pass at the Iranian goal, only for well-positioned goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand to make an easy save.

Musah also had a decent chance to score minutes earlier when he sent a kick outside the box over the Iranian goal.


U.S. vs. Iran underway in Qatar at the World Cup

The U.S. soccer team players pose for a photo ahead of their Group B match against Iran.
(Luca Bruno / Associated Press)

The U.S. and Iran are underway in the final group-play match for both teams at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

The path to the round of 16 is simple for the United States — win and its in. Lose or draw and the team is heading back home.

Both teams put some pressure on the net early, but no prime scoring chances in the opening minutes.


Fox, U.S. score big numbers with TV audience

England's Jordan Henderson controls the ball next to the United States' Yunus Musah.
England’s Jordan Henderson controls the ball next to the United States’ Yunus Musah (6) in a World Cup group-play match Friday. The 0-0 tie drew 15.38 million viewers, the second-largest TV audience for a U.S. men’s World Cup game.
(Luca Bruno / Associated Press)

DOHA, Qatar — Fox drew 15.38 million viewers for Friday’s United States-England World Cup match, the second-largest TV audience for a U.S. men’s World Cup game. Only the Americans’ round-of-16 extra-time loss to Belgium in 2014 had more viewers, with 16.94 million watching on ESPN.

The largest English-language television audience for soccer in the United States was the 25.4 million who tuned in to the 2015 Women’s World Cup final on Fox.

Such a big audience in the second game of the group stage in Qatar bodes well for Fox and U.S. Soccer, both of which need to make use of the World Cup spotlight. Capturing casual fans during the tournament is crucial to growing soccer, especially with the tournament coming to the United States in four years.

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U.S. briefly protests Iran by stripping flag of Islamic Republic emblem online

Christian Pulisic, center right, and other players from the U.S. men's national team take part in a training session.
Christian Pulisic, center right, and other players from the U.S. men’s national team take part in a training session Sunday.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — German players wore rainbow colors on their boots and put their hands over their mouths in a pregame photo, mocking attempts by FIFA to silence them. Iran’s players refused to sing the national anthem before their opening game. And seven European nations, including Germany, issued a strongly worded statement protesting FIFA’s decision denying a request to wear armbands in support of the OneLove movement, which promotes diversity and inclusion.

The U.S., meanwhile, has taken a much less confrontational — and arguably more effective — approach with its messaging. The federation altered its crest, replacing the seven vertical red bars with rainbow-colored ones in support of LGBTQ rights, but it displayed the altered crest only in areas visible to the players, staff members and media to avoid a row with FIFA.

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Qatar offers a rare World Cup perk — a chance to watch two elite matches in one day

Brazil fans jump for a photo along the Doha Corniche in Qatar on Wednesday.
(Ariel Schalit / Associated Press)

With all eight stadiums located within a 35-mile radius of downtown Doha, the 2022 World Cup is the most compact in history. During the group stage, that makes it possible to attend four games a day.

Possible, but it’s not permitted.

To avoid congestion and make more tickets available to more people, FIFA has limited fans and the media to two games a day, with a four-hour window between kickoffs. But that’s still pretty good, right? Watching four of the best teams in the world on the same day?

And with public transportation, free to World Cup visitors, serving all eight stadiums, it’ll be a breeze, the Qataris said.

But then the Qataris have already reneged on everything from human rights and beer sales to bus schedules and the menu in the media cafeteria. So maybe this was another empty promise.

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Starting lineup for the United States vs. Iran

Here’s the starting 11 for the United States as it looks to advance to the round of 16 with a win over Iran at the World Cup on Tuesday:

Matt Turner
Sergiño Dest
Tyler Adams
Antonee Robinson
Yunus Musah
Weston McKennie
Christian Pulisic
Tim Ream
Cameron Carter-Vickers
Tim Weah
Josh Sargent


A guide to the eight stadiums hosting games at the 2022 World Cup

A view of Lusail Iconic Stadium ahead of the Lusail Super Cup between Zamalek and Al Hilal in September.
A view of Lusail Iconic Stadium ahead of the Lusail Super Cup between Zamalek and Al Hilal in September. Lusail Iconic Stadium is one of eight venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
(Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

One stadium looks like a boat, another like a giant Bedouin tent. One was built with 974 shipping containers.

Qatar’s World Cup venues are as spectacular as the tournament they will host. And though the combined price tag for building or refurbishing all eight stadiums was less than what Stan Kroenke paid for SoFi Stadium alone, the cost of construction was enormously high in human terms.

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Chef Giulio Caccamo helps make the U.S. men’s soccer team feel at home in Qatar

Chef Giulio Caccamo poses for a photo.
Chef Giulio Caccamo prepares three buffet-style meals for the U.S. men’s national soccer team in Qatar each day, shopping local markets for fresh food and ingredients.
(John Dorton / ISI Photos)

DOHA, Qatar — Thursday was Thanksgiving and even in Qatar that means turkey. The problem for Giulio Caccamo, the newly minted chef for the U.S. World Cup team, was where to find it.

Turns out you can’t, at least not in the quantity or quality Caccamo wanted. So he had to have the birds brought in by plane from the U.S. (You know turkeys can’t fly, right?)

“Tonight we’re going to have some turkey, some sweet mashed potatoes with marshmallow. So we kept it traditional,” Caccamo said on the eve of the Americans’ crucial group-stage showdown with England on Friday.

That meal was one of dozens Caccamo will prepare for the national team and its staff during their stay in Qatar. Yet the cooking is the least of his challenges since it doesn’t matter how good the food is if nobody eats it. When you’re dealing with 26 young men, including two teenagers, getting them to eat their vegetables isn’t easy.

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

Netherlands forward Memphis Depay controls the ball during a match against Qatar at the World Cup.
Netherlands forward Memphis Depay controls the ball during a match against Qatar at the World Cup on Tuesday.
(Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images)

DOHA, Qatar — For the first time, the FIFA World Cup is being played in the Middle East for a fall tournament highlighting soccer’s best.

The American men’s national team looks to defy the odds and pull off a World Cup holiday shocker. After playing to draws against Wales and England, it next challenges Iran in group play Tuesday. A win over Iran will move them into the Round of 16.

Mexico, hit hard by injuries and issues within its federation, faces even tougher odds of staying alive beyond group play after falling to Argentina on Saturday. It’ll need to beat Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to have any chance at advancing.

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

Workers building Lusail Stadium, one of eight 2022 Qatar World Cup stadiums, report to the construction site.
Workers building Lusail Stadium, one of eight 2022 Qatar World Cup stadiums, report to the construction site in December 2019. A top Qatari official says between 400 and 500 workers died in projects connected to preparing for the World Cup.
(Hassan Ammar / Associated Press)

DOHA, Qatar — A top Qatari official involved in the country’s World Cup organization has put the number of worker deaths for the tournament “between 400 and 500” for the first time, a drastically higher number than any other previously offered by Doha.

The comment by Hassan Thawadi, the secretary-general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, appeared to come off the cuff during an interview with British journalist Piers Morgan.

It also threatened to reinvigorate criticism by human rights groups over the toll of hosting the Middle East’s first World Cup for the migrant labor that built over $200 billion worth of stadiums, metro lines and new infrastructure needed for the tournament.

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For Iran coach Carlos Queiroz, playing against U.S. will have special meaning

Iran coach Carlos Queiroz speaks during a news conference in Qatar on Monday.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

DOHA, Qatar — Carlos Queiroz once spent a year trying to fix U.S. soccer. On Monday, as coach of the Iranian national team, he’s going to try to beat the Americans.

“He took maybe a year to analyze U.S. soccer, analyze youth development in U.S. Soccer,” current American coach Gregg Berhalter. “I remember when I was with the national team in ’98, he was around observing.”

At the end of that year, Queiroz turned in a 113-page report that was supposed to be a blueprint on how to get the U.S. to a World Cup final by 2010. A dozen years later, Berhalter is simply hoping to get his team out of the group stage.

To do that he’ll have to beat Queiroz, who is coaching Iran in the tournament for a third time, in a group-stage final that will see only one team advance to the next round.

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Iran World Cup showdown with U.S. overshadowed by protests against Islamic regime

Iran's Ramin Rezaeian celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Wales.
Iran’s Ramin Rezaeian, shown against Wales, said he was unsure whether to laugh or cry after scoring because of the way many protesters view the soccer team as supporters of the Islamic regime.
(Francisco Seco / Associated Press)

DOHA, Qatar — When Ramin Rezaeian scored his first World Cup goal to seal Iran’s victory over Wales last week — just the country’s second tournament win in 24 years — it should have been a moment of pure joy.

Yet Rezaeian tweeted afterward that he didn’t know “whether to laugh or cry” — feeling trapped along with his teammates between a government that views their success as a propaganda tool and Iranian protesters mounting the most dangerous challenge to the country’s theocratic rulers in four decades.

Those conflicting emotions could become even more complicated Tuesday when Iran meets the U.S. in a game that will determine which team moves on in soccer’s premier tournament and which goes home.

With the United States considered by many in Iran to be the “Great Satan” — a term the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini made famous amid the 1979 hostage crisis — the game has taken on a political fervor not directed toward an American team since the days of the Cold War. On Monday, in the final news conference before the match, U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter and captain Tyler Adams listened as several Iranian journalists took the microphone to make lengthy political statements before asking the Americans to explain the presence of U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the status of race relations in the U.S.

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U.S. vs. Iran at the World Cup: Betting odds and lines

The United States fought to an admirable 0-0 draw against England to set up the opportunity to advance out of Group B with a win over Iran on Tuesday at 11 p.m. PST in the World Cup.

Draw no bet: Iran +180 / USA -230 (regular time)

Once again, the odds favor the U.S. Iran played about as well as it could play against Wales, but also lost 6-2 to an England team that the United States played to a scoreless tie.

Total goals

  • Over/under 0.5 (-1600/+800)
  • Over/under 1.5 (-245/+195)
  • Over/under 2.5 (+130/-160)
  • Over/under 3.5 (+340/-475)
  • Over/under 4.5 (+800/-1600)

Based on the odds, the most likely outcomes are 2-0, 1-1 or 0-2 in this match. We’ve seen a lot of tight, low-scoring games in the tournament thus far and this game looks to fit that mold.

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U.S. staying focused on must-win match versus Iran, amid politically charged atmosphere

U.S. midfielder Tyler Adams runs on the field during a draw with England on Friday.
(Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

DOHA, Qatar — In four years with the U.S. national team, Gregg Berhalter has coached 58 games, traveled tens of thousands of miles, auditioned dozens of players and run too many training sessions to count.

All that work will now come down to 90 minutes Tuesday when the U.S. faces Iran in its final group-stage match of the 2022 World Cup with a berth in the knockout rounds at stake. And the scenario couldn’t be simpler: win and the U.S. goes on, lose or draw and it goes home.

“It sounds kind of illogical to judge four years on one game, but that’s our business,” Berhalter said. “We said that this team is going to be judged on what we do at the World Cup. So that’s fine. We’ll deal with it.”

What the Americans have accomplished so far in Qatar would probably get a “C” on most report cards: they’ve done just enough to get by, drawing Wales and England to enter the final group game both unbeaten and winless. But they’ll have to bring their A game against Iran, the lowest-ranked team in the group but the only one standing between the U.S. and the next round.

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