Christian Pulisic was decisive as the United States beat Iran 1-0 to secure their place in the last 16 of the World Cup as geopolitics briefly took a back seat at Al Thumama Stadium.
Due to the long-strained relationship between the two countries politically and the ongoing civil unrest in Iran, the build-up to Tuesday’s Group B clash was dominated by talk of almost anything but football.
Once the game settled, however, the USA’s superiority was abundantly clear, and Iran were fortunate to only trail by Pulisic’s goal at the break, with Timothy Weah having one disallowed.
Carlos Queiroz’s side did at least manage a shot after the break, but the USA had enough to see out a slender – albeit deserved – victory and set up a last-16 clash with Group A winners, the Netherlands.
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Edited by Jesus Chan
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