The United States took on Iran for their last match of the group stage in the world cup. England and Wales faced off at the same time. The game took place at Al Thumama Stadium. This is the first time the United States played Iran in the world cup since 1998. This was the first match between the United States and Iran since 2000.
There was a lot of politics going into this match. They had relatively stayed out of the spotlight until the lead-up to this match. The USA did alright against England. I think the draw on Friday proved they were better than Iran. I was nervous coming into this match. There was no solid way to judge how these teams would play against each other. The United States need to win to advance. That put a lot of pressure on this game.
United States Preview | FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
United States VS Iran Preview | FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Right from the start, the United States was pretty dominant. They would score the opening goal of the game in the 38′ minute. The ball was put into the box. It was headed toward the net. As Pulisic was running towards the net he got his foot on the ball and was able to direct it into the net. Pulisic was slow to get up. He did finish the half before being subbed out to start the second half.
During the extra time in the first half, the United States would score but the goal was called off. The goal that would have put the United States up by two goals was called offsides. I think this goal would have put the game out of reach for Iran. The call was really really close. The United States would take a 1-0 lead into the second half.
In the second half, it became more of a back-and-forth game. There was a stretch in there where Iran was getting all of the scoring chances. It was a lot of back-and-forth from please score to please don’t let them score. Twice during extra time, Iran players went down in the box. The ref did not award any penalties. The Iran players went down soft and the ref wasn’t calling any soft fouls or penalties the whole game. It there were situations where he felt like the player didn’t try to stay on their feet, he did not call a foul. The game ended in 1-0 United States Victory.
The United States outdid itself with this match. They did not play as tight as they did against England or Wales. In this game, they were taking more chances. That’s what made the difference. I think everyone is just relieved that the United States won. Right now they are at where they are expected to be. Anything beyond the round of 16 will have this team exceeding expectations. The one thing after this match is that Christian Pulisic is in the hospital right now. That is related to His collision during his goal. I am unclear about when exactly he went to the hospital. As far as I am aware is still there now.
The United States outshot Iran three to one. Possession was pretty close. I think what made a lot of difference in this one was that the United States set pieces.
England wins Group B. The United States came in second. Iran and Wales were eliminated.
United States VS Netherlands
Game #: Round of 16
Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022
Time: 7:00am (PST)
Location: Khalifa International Stadium