WORLD CUP: Pulisic scores to send USA through to last 16
The United States won their World Cup grudge match against Iran as Christian Pulisic scored the winner to set up a last 16 tie with the Netherlands.
The Chelsea forward turned AC Milan defender Sergino Dest’s header over the line seven minutes before half-time.
But he collided with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand in the process and needed several minutes of treatment – before being replaced at the break.
It was a match with lots at stake as both teams had a chance to seal a place in the knockout stages.
But Iran, who would have gone through with a draw, mustered just one shot on target as they were knocked out.
In the second half, they came close – Brentford’s Saman Ghoddos came off the bench to strike inches over the bar when he was unmarked in the box, before Saeid Ezatolahi also curled over.
Perhaps their best chance came deep in stoppage time, when Morteza Pouraliganji met a free-kick with a diving header that went just wide.
And there was still time for controversy as Mehdi Taremi appealed for a penalty as he went down with Cameron Carter-Vickers trying to stop him, but their penalty appeals were rejected.
In the end, Iran exited the World Cup with a sense of disappointment as the USA made the knockout stages for the third time in four tournaments. (BBC Sport)