A goal by the Chelsea player gives the United States the challenge that is worth second place in the group. Queiroz’s team let themselves be overtaken in the standings and lost the chance of a historic qualification
Saturday will be Holland-United States, the round of 16 at the Khalifa stadium. Berhtalter’s national team beat Iran 1-0 and thus won second place in group B behind England. Thanks to a goal, in the 38th minute of the first half, by Pulisic. It could only be him, the star of a very young team, who decided the match. Iran comes out with honour, but without having worried their opponents too much, despite the forcing of the second half.
The match must be played by the United States, for ranking reasons. And indeed they do, predictions confirmed. Berhalter’s national team starts immediately at a very high pace, in the 9th minute the first chance goes to Musa: high volley from the edge. Iran tries to reason and then look for the sudden play on Azmoun: this is the tactical plan. But on 11 minutes it was again Musah who prompted Pulisic, whose header ended up in the centre. The script is clear and doesn’t change, the American game on the wings is enveloping. Queiroz’s team tries to knock in the 20th minute: Taremi receives on the edge of offside but just inside the box his assist for Azmoun is intercepted by Ream. It is played almost in a half field. In the 28th minute a shot from Sargent reached Weah, but the attacker instead of controlling comfortably with his feet attempted an improbable header which ended up weak in Beiranvand’s hands. Weah again – we’re on the 33rd minute – ends high with his right foot. The problem for the States is just finding the advantage. Which arrives, almost inevitable, in the 38th minute: McKennie cuts the field perfectly for Dest, the AC Milan player’s header for Pulisic who puts inside with his right foot. The Chelsea striker also gets hurt on the occasion, colliding with the goalkeeper: he will go off at the interval, replaced by Aaronson. Usa again: Sargent in the 42nd minute doesn’t close well with his right foot, then in the 45th minute a counterattack orchestrated by him is not properly finished off by Weah. Weah who actually doubled in full recovery, then canceled by the Var for offside. A moment ago Queiroz had replaced Mohammadi with Karimi.
Two changes, one on each side. In the USA the one already described by Pulisic, in Iran Azmoun comes out for Ghoddos. Just the latter, in the 7th minute, had the first real chance on his head, but the ball went high. Five minutes earlier it had been Sargent, on a cue from Aaronson, who had kicked too centrally. Not that the script of the second half changes much, at least initially, despite Iran having to look for the equalizer. The United States midfield dominates, between McKennie, Adams and Musah. Just the Juventus player, in the 20th minute, leaves the field for Acosta. In the meantime, Iran tries to raise the center of gravity and the pressing. In the 24th minute Musah has a good chance with a free kick from 18 metres, but his right foot isn’t accurate. Queiroz makes three other changes: out of Gholizadeh, Hajisafi and Noorollahi for Ansarifard, Torabi and Jalali. On the other side – we are 13′ from the end – Wright takes over from Sargent, then 4′ later Weah and Dest come out for Zimmerman and Moore. The United States now seem to have less of it, Iran takes the field, without making itself really dangerous. In the 36th minute a cross from Pouraliganji in the area was disputed, Iran protested for a possible touch with Moore’s hand, but there was no intervention from the Var. Adams and his teammates defended themselves. We’re in the sprint: 3′ from the end a counterattack by Musah isn’t well finished. Nine minutes of recovery. The third of these chances Iran: Ramin’s free-kick from the left and Pouraliganji’s twisting header (probably deflected, even if the corner isn’t granted) which doesn’t go far from Turner’s post. In the 98th minute other protests Iran: contact in the area between Taremi and Carter-Vickers, but neither referee nor Var intervenes. There is time, on the other hand, for a wasted chance by Wright on the counterattack. Not bad for the United States: the joy is all theirs.
November 29, 2022 (change November 29, 2022 | 23:21)
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