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By Herb Scribner- The United States men’s soccer team will be in Qatar for a little longer after defeating Iran in their final group-stage match of the 2022 World Cup on Tuesday.
Why it matters: The 1-0 result extends the team’s first World Cup campaign in eight years. It’s the seventh time the U.S. has reached the knockout round.
Context: The U.S. needed a victory against Iran to move onto the next tournament stage after drawing Wales (1-1) and England (0-0) in their previous matches.
- With the victory, the U.S. will be one of the two Group B squads to enter the next round.
What happened: The United States scored the opening goal when Christian Pulisic slotted the ball home in the 38th minute. But in doing so he suffered an injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the game.
- Toward the end of the first half, Timothy Weah put the ball back in the net as well for the U.S., but the goal was ruled offside, keeping the score 1-0 at the half.
- In the second half, both teams opened up the game and pushed for goals, but neither proved successful.
- The U.S. parked the bus for more than nine minutes of stoppage time to secure the win. Iran had a serious chance with about five minutes left but missed wide to the right. Iran was nearly awarded a penalty towards the end of the match.
What’s next: With the win, the United States finished second in Group B, which pits them against the Netherlands (winners of Group A) in the knockout round of the tournament. That game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. EST.
- England won Group B with a 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday. The English will now face Senegal, which finished second in Group A, on Sunday, Dec. 4.
Zoom out: Iran and the U.S. were swept up in controversy ahead of the game after the U.S. Soccer Federation temporarily displayed the Iranian flag in a social media post. Iran then called on the U.S. to be kicked out of the tournament. (Axios)