The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) had to work hard for their place in the knockout stage of the World Cup, winning a tough 1-0 victory over Iran in a decisive Group B match, tuesday.
Christian Pulisic’s first-half goal was all that separated the two teams as the USMNT reached the knockout stages for the first time since 2014.
The pressure was certainly on Gregg Berhalter’s side in Qatar after the national team’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, but the United States got the job done with three serious group performances.
It certainly wasn’t pretty at times, especially in the knockout stages against Iran, but progressing through the group stage was the minimum expectation for this exciting young team.
There will be some concerns in the Round of 16, however, after Pulisic picked up an abdominal injury while scoring the winner.
The USMNT will be hoping their star man, dubbed ‘Captain America’ by some, will be fit for the Round of 16 tie against the Netherlands on Saturday after news broke that Pulisic had been sent to hospital for a CT scan .
Berhalter said on Wednesday he felt good after the team qualified for the World Cup round of 16, but wanted to “keep pushing things forward”.
“I think it’s just a matter of concentration. We haven’t finished. It’s good to get into the next round but we want to continue. We had two tournaments that we were considering, the group stage tournament and the knockout tournament and now we’re here in the knockout. I just want it to continue,” Berhalter said on “CNN This Morning.”
“He seems to be fine,” Berhalter said.
“We’ll see what he can do on the training ground tomorrow and hopefully he’ll be ready for the game against the Netherlands,” he said.
“But when it comes to his contribution to the group, I’ve always said that when one of your most talented players is also one of the hardest workers, you know you’re in a good place,” he said. -he adds.
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