Captain America saved the day for the United States on Tuesday in Qatar.
Christian Pulisic sacrificed his body in the 38th minute of the final game in the Group B round of the World Cup against Iran.
The American superstar managed to score a goal and suffered an abdominal injury in the process. The goal stood up as the USMNT advanced to the knockout round with a tense 1-0 victory.
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The victory advances the USMNT to a match in the Round of 16 on Saturday against the Netherlands, winners of Group A. The Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2018
The decisive goal was set up by Sergino Dest’s crossing pass on a perfect header that Pulisic directed home before crashing into Iranian goalkeeper lireza Beiranvand.
Pulisic was worked on behind the net as play continued and he managed to finish the first half. However, after the break, he could not go and had to be replaced by Brenden Aaronson.
He was taken to the hospital to undergo abdominal scans.
Christian Pulisic from the hospital after suffering an abdominal injury against Iran 🦅🇺🇸
(via @AreaSportsNet, @Adimitri24) pic.twitter.com/zUM0Ewhbxw
— ESPN (@espn) November 29, 2022
Team USA finished second in Group B behind England, which downed Wales, 3-0 to win the group.
Iran and Wales had their World Cup runs end.
The latter moments of the second half saw a tense time for the USMNT as Iran pressed for the equalizer.
Iran would have advanced with a tie.
Iran came close on a couple of occasions and sought penalties a number of times in the final minutes.
The USMNT survived more than nine minutes of stoppage time and advanced to the next round. It marked the seventh time the Americans qualified for the knockout stage at the World Cup.
Now the question will be about Pulisic’s fitness for Saturday’s match.