US Advances to World Cup Round of 16

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Christian Pulisic scored the winner against Iran that sent the United States through to face the Netherlands in the World Cup last 16.

The Chelsea forward turned AC Milan defender Sergino Dest’s header over the line seven minutes before half-time

But he collided with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand in the process and needed several minutes of treatment before being replaced at the break.

It was a match with lots at stake as both teams had a chance to seal a place in the knockout stages.

But Iran, who would have gone through with a draw, could not muster a shot on target as they were knocked out.

In the second half, they came close Brentford’s Saman Ghoddos came off the bench to strike inches over the bar when he was unmarked in the box, before Saeid Ezatolahi also curled over.

Perhaps their best chance came deep in stoppage time, when Morteza Pouraliganji met a free-kick with a diving header that went just wide.

There was still time for controversy as Mehdi Taremi appealed for a penalty as he went down with Cameron Carter-Vickers trying to stop him, but their penalty appeals were rejected.

In the end, Iran exited the World Cup with a sense of disappointment as the USA made the knockout stages for the third time in four tournaments

 

BBC/Samuel Isaiah

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