World Cup: USA defeat Iran to qualify for Round of 16 

Weston USA-England

The US men's national team are through to the Round of 16 at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, punching their ticket with a 1-0 victory over Iran to close out Group B play on Tuesday, delivered by an instantly iconic game-winner from Christian Pulisic.

With the result, the USMNT finished second in Group B with five points from three matches following opening draws with Wales and England. They'll now move on to face the Netherlands on Saturday (10 am ET | FOX, Telemundo) by virtue of their finish at the top of Group A.

Pulisic broke the dam near the end of a nervy first half, providing the Yanks with a crucial 38th-minute opener. The Chelsea attacker made a charging run onto a headed cross from right back Sergiño Dest and converted a close-range finish, despite sustaining a full-speed collision with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand that forced Pulisic to sub off for Brenden Aaronson at halftime.

The one-goal margin set up a frantic second half as Iran chased a leveling goal, needing only a draw to advance. The Yanks managed to withstand a flurry of late pressure, including a wild sequence late that saw substitute Walker Zimmerman make a last-gasp clearance before a shout from Iran for a penalty call on Cameron Carter-Vickers went unheeded.


  • 38' - USA - Christian Pulisic

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Exhale. It was nervier than they might have liked, but the USMNT got the result they needed to keep their World Cup dreams alive thanks to Pulisic's goal and a heroic defensive effort in the second half. It's a massive milestone moment for this young group, and they can take pride in successfully achieving their first objective of advancing to the Knockout Stage and further exorcising the demons of the program's infamous failed qualifying campaign in 2018. Now, it's time to see how far they can take it.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Pulisic's goal was the decider and no doubt his signature moment in a USMNT kit to date for a player many consider to be the face of the team. This is the definition of laying your body on the line.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Even with his halftime substitution, Pulisic gets the honors for his all-out effort on the decisive goal. The main concern now is the health of the 24-year-old, who reportedly suffered an abdominal injury on the play.

Next Up

  • USA: Saturday, December 3 vs. Netherlands | 10 am ET (FOX, Telemundo) | Round of 16
  • IRA: End of tournament