The USA stormed into the World Cup last 16 on Tuesday by beating Iran 1-0 after Christian Pulisic bundled the ball home in a Group B showdown shrouded by decades of enmity between the two nations.
Sergino Dest headed the ball into the path of the sprinting Pulisic, who swept it into the net to momentarily silence the raucous Iranian supporters in front of him but he crashed into the outstretched Alireza Beiranvand in the process.
Pulisic was back on his feet after receiving treatment for a few minutes but did not look comfortable and he was replaced by Brenden Aaronson at the break after sustaining an abdominal injury, in a major blow for the Americans’ knockout stage hopes.
“No update on his status,” USA coach Gregg Berhalter told the BBC. “But it’s a wonderful thing when one of your best players is also one of the most hard working. He’s certainly that. I can’t say enough positive things about Christian.”
“In the first half we showed what we can do, soccer wise. We had a really good first half. Second half we showed what we could do determination wise. The guys grinded, gave every single ounce and we are undefeated going into the next round,” Berhalter added.
The Americans finished two points behind Group B winners England to reach the last 16 for the fifth time since 1994. Iran finished third with three points, with Wales bottom with one point.
USA World Cup 2022 squad
The USA World Cup squad was announced on November 9, and represents the second-youngest squad in the tournament, with an average age of 25 years.
Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Sean Johnson (New York City FC.), Matt Turner (Arsenal)
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United.), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC)
Forwards: Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich City), Timothy Weah (Lill), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor
Who are the star names?
Christian Pulisic is the standout name in this USA side. He captains the team, which is where he gets the nickname ‘Captain America’, and was his side’s leading scorer during qualifying.
While he may have struggled at Chelsea recently, Pulisic is still the man that fans and team-mates look to make a difference for the USA. His national team would like Graham Potter, the Chelsea manager, to give him a little more game time.
Behind him there is a group of promising young players who play for some of Europe’s biggest teams, such as AC Milan full-back Sergino Dest, Juventus’ Weston McKennie, and Borussia Dortmund attacking midfielder Giovanni Reyna.
Premier League fans will be familiar with Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams, who are both mainstays of the Leeds squad. Should Pulisic struggle for form, Adams is a ready-made back-up.
Source : TeleGraph