Christian Pulisic Delivers First Blow Against Iran
SALT LAKE CITY – Christian Pulisic, the United States 24-year-old star, has delivered the first blow in the must-win Group B clash versus Iran.
Iran, assuming England either drew or lost to England, would qualify for the Round of 16 with just a draw against the USA. However, the USA are required to pick up all three points against Iran for their World Cup dreams to remain alive.
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Fortunately, the dominant opening 40 minutes from the USA paid off when the headered cross by Sergiño Dest found the right foot of Pulisic who made a terrific run across the face of the goal. Pulisic comfortably tapped the ball into the back of the net before crashing into Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.
Pulisic Finds First World Cup Goal
It was Pulisic’s first World Cup goal.
Pulisic did not celebrate, instead, he lay with his face on the pitch in pain and remained grounded for multiple minutes as the United States trainers attended to their star forward.
Pulisic took multiple minutes on the sideline receiving treatment and looked to be in a lot of pain. He looked like he was struggling to put weight on his right leg after the collision. Fortunately, Pulisic returned to the pitch and slowly returned to the game. By the end of the opening half Pulisic looked to have fully recovered from the incident.
Pulisic was replaced by Brenden Aaronson at halftime.
USA Dominates Iran Throughout First Half
The USA dominated Iran throughout the opening half denying Iran of any shot. USA goalkeeper Matt Turner did not have to stop any attempt from his opposition, remarkably.
With just seconds remaining in the half, Tim Weah made a run in and behind the Iranian defense and poked the ball with the outside of his right foot past Beiranvand. His shot bounced off the far post and into the back of the net but the flag was raised and the goal was ruled offside by a matter of inches.
Nevertheless, the USA has generated 9 shots with 3 on target while dominating 61% of the possession. As mentioned, the United States are in complete control of the fixture against Iran. The USA is 45 minutes away from booking a ticket into the Round of 16 and solidifying a date with the Netherlands.