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4:06 p.m. ET
The U.S. Men’s National team closed out a tight 1-0 win over Iran, ensuring they advance to the knockout stage to take on The Netherlands.
The U.S. thoroughly dominated the first half, with Christian Pulisic contributing the lone goal with a fantastic 38th minute finish off of service from Sergino Dest.
Second half play was far more nervy, as Berhalter made multiple defensive subs to try and close out the match.
Iran appealed for a late penalty on Cameron Carter-Vickers, but were denied.
What a tense, tense finish as Haji Wright unnecessarily gave up possession in the attacking third with a chance to close out the game.
The U.S. deserved to get through, but it was far closer than it should have been. Gio Reyna sitting on the bench was inexplicable.
Christian Pulisic’s health will become the most important story of the upcoming days, as he was subbed off at halftime.
The U.S. now advances to the Round of 16. They will take on The Netherlands on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 10am ET/7am PT. The game will be televised on FOX.
U.S. fans can breathe again. At least for a few more days.
3:57 p.m. ET
Five plus minutes remaining as the U.S. avoided disaster after a close Iran header challenged Matt Turner.
England officially closed out Wales 3-0, meaning the U.S. would take on The Netherlands if they can hold on to the lead.
3:52 p.m. ET
The U.S. will have to defend nine minutes of extra time, after multiple stoppages. Heart racing times coming as the UMSNT tries to close out a tense 1-0 lead.
3:47 p.m. ET
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter made his final two subs of the match, bringing in two defenders to try and close out a tight 1-0 game. Walker Zimmerman and Shaq Moore are in. This officially means Gio Reyna is not going to play in the most important U.S. match in 8 years. Unbelievable. Berhalter will need to explain afterwards.
3:40 p.m. ET
Josh Sargent is leaving the match, replaced by Haji Wright after he crashed to the ground awkwardly after a great run. Aaronson also stayed down after a tough, yellow card challenge.
Btw, Pulisic’s goal is even more beautiful from multiple angles.
3:32 p.m. ET
Where’s Gio Reyna? The U.S. has been pushing hard up the field, fresh legs up top are a necessity in the later stages of the match. Reyna’s creativity could also help finally get an extremely important second goal.
If he’s not on soon, it will undoubtedly be the most important question asked of Berhalter after the match. Especially if Iran finds a tying goal.
3:29 p.m. ET
Kellyn Acosta has been subbed on for the U.S. with Weston McKennie exiting. McKennie has had injuries forcing him to play less than 90 minutes in most matches. Acosta should provide some defensive stablity, important as Iran recently got their best chance of the game so far.
Oh, and it’s called soccer.
3:20 p.m. ET
The second half has been off to a much more sluggish start for the U.S. so far, with Iran pressing higher and trying to win the ball back.
The Iranians got their first shot off, although it missed the target.
The U.S. will need to continue pushing to add a second goal and feel a bit more comfortable. Brenden Aaronson has already made an impact off the bench, winning a corner with some nifty dribbling.
With England up 2-0, the U.S. is playing for second place and a date with The Netherlands in the knockout stage.
3:11 p.m. ET
After his heroic goal to put the U.S. ahead 1-0, Pulisic crashed into the keeper and stayed down for several minutes. Though he did manage to get up and continue, Gregg Berhalter subbed him off at halftime, implying he’s still hurt.
Brenden Aaronson replaced him, one of the better attacking options on the U.S. bench.
3:07 p.m. ET
Current and former NFL players celebrated the U.S. taking a 1-0 lead. As Allen Lazard rightfully said, it will officially be called soccer if the USMNT can finish this out.
The call on Weah was unbelievably close, with basically just his knee in an offsides position. Frustrating.
📸 – The official offside image released by VAR. pic.twitter.com/sJSkLpu9ql— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) November 29, 2022
2:58 p.m. ET
Tim Weah was inches away from adding the all-important second goal, with a close offsides call costing the U.S.
Weah definitely was offsides, but by the closest of margins. The U.S. will need to keep on the attack in the second half, with Iran sure to press hard for a tying goal.
2:54 p.m. ET
Phew. Deep breath. We’ve reached halftime of the U.S.-Iran match, with the Yanks ahead 1-0 after a spectacular goal from Christian Pulisic.
The U.S. has thoroughly dominated the match, overwhelming with possession and creating far more opportunities than Iran.
Even so, there have been several missed opportunities for the Yanks.
Iran already made one sub, taking out Ali Al-Hamedi, meaning they have four remaining. Pulisic stayed in the game after running into the Iranian goalkeeper, but we’ll have to see if he comes back out for the second half.
An extremely close offside decision took a possible second U.S. goal off the board, but they’ll need to continue pushing to add on to avoid Iran hitting on the counter.
2:45 p.m. ET
Pulisic stays in despite a massive collision with the Iranian goalkeeper.
Absolutely beautiful finish for his first ever World Cup goal.
2:40 p.m. ET
Christian Pulisic finally found the back of the net for the U.S. Men’s National Team, getting on the end of a fantastic header from Sergino Dest. Pulisic stayed down on the field after crashing into the keeper.
What a finish from Pulisic. World class. And the U.S. are through if they can hold on.
2:36 p.m. ET
Elvis is in Qatar apparently.
2:33 p.m. ET
Coach Gregg Berhalter has been complaining to the officials about Iran’s time wasting. He certainly won’t like that Iran immediately went down on normal contact from Cameron Carter-Vickers. Long ways to go, but they’re doing their best to shorten the game.
2:23 p.m. ET
This is the youngest team the U.S. has fielded in Qatar. So far the youth seems to be showing, with some nervy first touches leading to giveaways.
2:11 p.m. ET
Unsurprisingly, the U.S. Men’s National Team has created the majority of threatening chances through the first ten minutes of the match, but in classic USMNT fashion, has yet to put a shot on target.
Someone will need to get on the end of these crosses at some point.
2:01 p.m. ET
The Iranian players sang the national anthem before the match, a dramatic change from their silent protest before the match against England. They did also sing before their clash with Wales.
1:55 p.m. ET
Coach Gregg Berhalter made a few adjustments to the starting eleven for the U.S., with Cameron Carter-Vickers replacing Walker Zimmerman at center back. Josh Sargent also returns, replacing Haji Wright who started against England.
This means there are no MLS players starting today, a stunning shift from where the team has been historically.
Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson are once again not starting. If Berhalter wants to keep his job, he’ll almost certainly need to bring them in earlier than the 83rd minute again.
1:45 p.m. ET
The United States Men’s National Team faces a must win match against Iran today, after last Friday’s somewhat surprising results.
Iran seemed likely to be easily eliminated following a 6-2 shellacking by England, but rebounded to secure a deserved 2-0 win over Wales.
The U.S. team meanwhile, couldn’t finish off their 1-0 lead against Wales, surrendering a penalty late in the match which resulted in a draw.
Expectations were mixed ahead of their showdown with England, but an excellent, sometimes dominant performance secured a 0-0 draw.
While their run to this point certainly hasn’t been disappointing, the U.S. has clearly struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. That’ll have to change if they want to advance to the knockout stage.
Iran meanwhile, will likely need just a draw to advance, barring a shocking Wales upset over England. With them likely content to sit back on defense, it’ll be up to the U.S. team to turn possession into goal scoring opportunities.
That’s proven to be harder than expected, due in part to the bizarre refusal to play Gio Reyna, one of the more creative attacking options on the U.S. team.
Coach Gregg Berhalter has long been criticized for being inflexible and unable to make adjustments. He’ll have to make some, whether going to subs earlier or helping spur better set piece movement if the U.S. is to advance.