By Elizabeth Chen

Leading up to the game that would determine the 2nd team to get into the Round of 16 in group B at the Qatar world cup, there was a lot of tension already. To show support for the protests, the US Soccer Federation posted the flag of Iran without the emblem in the middle, causing Iran to request for the US to be expelled from the World Cup. Iran’s state affiliated media and he post was taken down after 24 hours, but their support still stood.  The two teams have only played twice, once in 1998 (a loss for the USMNT) and once in 2000 (a draw). 

The game was played on Tuesday, November 29th. This was the last game for the USMNT in the group stage, and if they won, they would progress to the round of 16 for the first time since 2014. During the first 20 minutes, the US had 65% of total possession. The action began to start in the 28th minute, when a shot on goal was taken by the US. However, it was saved by the Iran goalkeeper.

Then, seven minutes before halftime, the game winning goal was scored by Christian Pulisic. Unfortunately, as Pulisic brought the ball home, he collided with the goalkeeper. The celebration turned into worry as Pulisic appeared to be in pain and was helped off the field. Although he came on again later, after the game Pulisic had to go to the hospital to check on his injury. No more goals were scored in the second half, giving the USA a spot in the final 16, the score 1-0.