Iran and the USA were fighting for passage to the knockout stages, and only a win would have guaranteed that to the USA. They started with more purpose in the game and had some early shots. The USA dominated the ball and was more on the attack, while the Asian team sat with a compact shape of their own. USA had a big chance in the 28th minute to open the scoring, but Timothy Weah’s header went straight to the Iran custodian.
The USA got the reward of their pressure as they scored in the 38th minute through Christian Pulisic. The Chelsea forward pounced on a headed pass from Sergio Dest to give the USA a massive lead.
At the break, it was the Americans with their noses in front thanks to a slender lead. Iran came out with intent after the break. Substitute Saman Ghoddos had a chance to level things up but his header was off target. Iran tried to restore the parity as a draw would have taken them through, but the USA defense dug deep and created chances of their own. In the end, the USA held on and won the match to advance to the next stage.
The USA has gone through to the knockouts and will face the Netherlands. Iran is out of the World Cup.
Iran vs USA Lineup: Iran: Beiranvand; Rezaeian, Hosseini, Pouraliganji, Mohammadi (Ali Karimi); Nourollahi (Torabi), Ezatolahi, Safi (Jalali); Gholizadeh (Ansarifard), Azmoun (Ghoddos), Taremi
USA: Turner; Dest (Zimmerman), Carter-Vickers, Ream, Robinson; McKennie (Acosta), Adams, Musah; Weah (Moore), Sargent (Wright), Pulisic (Aaronson)
Key Stats and Facts: Joshua Sargent took 3 shots in the match. He also completed 1 successful dribble and had a 90% passing accuracy in the game. Tyler Adams won 3 tackles in the match and also won the most duels among the players. The USA had 11 shots in the game compared to Iran’s 2.