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2022 FIFA World Cup Recap: USMNT into the knockout stage

On to Netherlands

Iran v USA -World Cup Photo by David S Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

It was a crucial match for the United States Men’s National Team on Tuesday and Christian Pulisic answered the call leading the USMNT to a 1-0 victory.

Gregg Berhalter made a few changes with Josh Sargent and Cameron Carter-Vickers enter the staring XI with Walker Zimmerman and Haji Wright being relegated to the bench. Former New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner once again got the start in net for the United States.

Once again Gio Reyna started the match on the bench meaning that he will not make a start in the group stage. He didn’t appear in the game either which is extremely puzzling and makes you wonder if Berhalter is the right man for the job even though the United States made it past the group stage.

Starters Sergiño Dest, Weston McKennie and Tim Ream, as well as substitute Kellyn Acosta all carry yellow cards into the match. If the United States was to advance and these players picked up a card, they would miss the next match.

It didn’t take long for the United States to realize that Iran wasn’t going to simply sit back and park the bus. Iran was able to get some chances and pressured the U.S. in their own third.

It took until the 38th minute for the USMNT to find their first goal of the match. Weston McKennie sent a beautiful ball into the box and Dest sent a header across the goal line. Pulisic was able to will the ball into the net even though he collided with Iran’s goalkeeper.

Pulisic remained on the ground for some time but eventually made his way back into the game. The goal was his first of the tournament.

It appeared that Tim Weah put the United States up 2-0 in stoppage time but he was called offsides. Dest was arguably the best player on the pitch for the USMNT in the first half as he notched the assist along with completing 27 of his 28 passes and recording 53 touches.

Pulisic didn’t play after the half with the Chelsea attacker being replaced by Brenden Aaronson. The 24-year-old remained in the locker room as play began in the second half. Berhalter made another change replacing Weston McKennie with Kellyn Acosta.

Pulisic wasn’t the only player who had to leave the match due to an injury. After an awkward landing, Sargent was replaced by Wright in the 77th minute. Berhalter’s final subs came in the 81st minute with Dest and Tim Weah being replaced by Shaq Moore and Zimmerman.

But the United States is into the knockout stage and for that reason USMNT fans are happy.