Iran v USA: Big plays, best moments and reaction

Iran v USA: Big plays, best moments and reaction

It was very simple for the United States on Tuesday against Iran in the 2022 World Cup. Win or go home. Mission accomplished for the Americans

Three of the four Group B teams – the United States, England and Iran – were still alive for two places in the round of 16. The scenarios are simple. England cruised to a 3-0 victory over Wales, making the Three Lions the winners of Group B. With a 1-0 victory over Iran, the United States will also advance to the knockout stage.

The Americans will now face the Netherlands on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET.

Here are the biggest moments and best plays from the final day of Group B.

Full-time: Iran 0, United States 1

The full-time whistle at Al Thumama Stadium, and the United States held on for a nervy and narrow 1-0 win over Iran. The Iranian bench was desperate for a penalty to be awarded against Carter-Vickers, but the referees again denied their claims, and that was as close as the USMNT came to conceding in the dying moments of that match.

Second part

nine minutes downtime. How much did this game change in the second half? Do you remember the first exchanges of this contest when the United States doubled Iran in possession? This figure was reduced to 53%-47% in favor of the Americans.

85th minute: Iran appealed for a handball against Moore, their first action in the game. The ball touched the hand of the Nashville SC defender, but his hand was stuck against his body and the referees did not award a penalty.

After these substitutions, USA now operate with a full back five, with three centre-backs in Ream, Zimmerman and Carter-Vickers, with Robinson and Moore serving as full-backs. The Americans are really preparing to keep Iran at bay now in these final minutes.

84th minute: More substitutes from the Americans, their last two, as Berhalter looks to bolster his defence, with centre-back Zimmerman and right-back Shaq Moore in place of Weah and Dest, respectively.

77th minute: Some are concerned here for the USMNT, as Sargent takes a very clumsy fall, which hurt the Norwich City striker’s right knee but it’s his right ankle that physios are treating at the moment. He cannot continue, and Berhalter drafts Haji Wright, who started against England, to replace Sargent.

67th minute: Weston McKennie’s night is now over, with Kellyn Acosta replacing to take the place of Juventus midfielder in the American engine room. McKennie’s fitness has been a topic of conversation throughout this World Cup, having recovered from a quadriceps injury just in time to start the opener against Wales, although he has yet to play a full 90 minutes in Qatar.

58th minute: Pulisic was unable to continue after that collision with the Iranian keeper and was substituted at half-time with what Berhalter called an “abdominal” injury. Leeds United playmaker Brenden Aaronson took his place.

The first minutes of this second half contrasted sharply with what happened in the opening 45′. Very open, very end to end, both teams having chances, and Iran scoring their first shot.

Half: Iran 0, USA 1

At halftime, the USA led 1-0 thanks to a goal from Pulisic. The Chelsea striker returned to the pitch after spending several minutes in medical treatment, but his movements appear labored.

And as things stand, the United States are on track to qualify for the knockout stages, taking on Group A winners the Netherlands. Of course, that depends on the ability of the Americans to maintain this lead. If Iran manages to equalize, we will be back at square one, with the United States on the outside.

Throughout the first half, USA had more ball and more chances. Not only were they the better team in the attacking third, but they also didn’t concede a single shot. Their lead is deserved.

And the final minutes of the first half perhaps offered a glimpse of what was to come in the next 45 minutes. With Iran needing that equalizer to get out of that group, they had to be more adventurous in committing forward players, giving Tim Weah a pair of particularly tasty counter-attacking opportunities that just didn’t clear – in fact, the second ended up in the back of the net, only for the Lille striker to be ruled slightly offside.

First half

American strike first

There is a goal for the USA! And in keeping with the theme of the first 40 or so minutes of this first half, it comes from Dest heading a ball across the 6-yard box for Christian Pulisic to strike home.

However, this comes at a cost. Pulisic was on the ground receiving treatment for several minutes, after colliding with Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, and he was still struggling as the half progressed.

28th minute: Dest and Robinson have played a prominent role in the American offense so far, and the opportunities are piling up. However, their will to press on invited Iran to step into the space left by the defenders, and the Iranians had a menacing counterattack to show. It is the United States, however, which firmly controls the first half hour โ€“ but, above all, has nothing to show for it.

18th minute: The US is starting to push and push the Iranian defense, looking for vulnerabilities, and those vulnerabilities seem to be in large areas. Full-backs Antonee Robinson and Sergino Dest each swung dangerous crosses, Christian Pulisic had a header attempt worth 0.09 xG, but there has been no breakthrough yet โ€“ although the shot of the Americans at the Gate is getting more and more powerful.

9th minute: The first few minutes of this game were the usual feeling process, but the intensity is such that the game seems to be playing at 1.5x speed. The Americans have a nearly 2-to-1 possession advantage, which isn’t surprising, but both teams have been full of direct and targeted runs.

This tension is reflected in the stands. The noise is constant so far.

Pre-match breakdown

Put aside the off-court controversies that have steadily built up between these two teams throughout this tournament. The stakes of this game – winning and you’re in – create a lot of drama on their own, and for an American team that can’t even afford a draw, the mountain they have to climb might seem increasingly steep. as they emerge from the tunnel at Al Thumama Stadium.

Let’s start with the selection, because it’s both unsurprising and puzzling. The starting XI for the United States is largely unchanged from the first two games, with one exception.

Josh Sargent returns to the starting lineup, despite largely ineffectively splitting 81 minutes between the games against Wales and England. Haji Wright had even less of an impact on his debut against the Three Lions, so a change of top wasn’t unexpected, but returning to Sargent – when coach Gregg Berhalter had consistently selected Jesus Ferreira throughout of this cycle โ€“ is a curious choice.

The most shocking decision comes at the back, where Cameron Carter-Vickers slots into the heart of the defense alongside Tim Ream, at the expense of Walker Zimmerman. Zimmerman conceded the penalty converted by Gareth Bale to earn Wales a draw in that US tournament opener, but apart from that the two-time MLS Defender of the Year has been very solid in a back line that was arguably this one. team’s bright spot in Qatar. Carter-Vickers and Ream have never played together, and the Celtic centre-back has only appeared for the USMNT three times in 2022 (in the Nations League against El Salvador and Granada, and a friendly against Morocco) .

Oh, and the crowd inside Al Thumama Stadium is decidedly pro-Iranian, at least from the noise made when the teams took to the pitch for warm-ups.

There is no room for error for Americans. Has Berhalter ever done one by getting rid of Zimmerman?


Presidential support

The fans show up

Growing controversy

After a US Soccer Federation social media account briefly displayed the Iranian flag without the Islamic Republic emblem, the Iranian government reacted by accusing US Soccer of removing God’s name from its national flag. , and the Iranian football federation said its country would file a complaint. with FIFA. An Associated Press report said Iran was also threatening legal action.

The USSF said in a statement Sunday morning that it had decided to drop the official flag on social media accounts to show “its support for women in Iran who are fighting for basic human rights.”

The poles were eventually taken down and the flag emblem restored. A US spokesperson said the USSF still supported protesters in Iran, and US defender Walker Zimmerman stressed the team was focused on Tuesday but remained in favor of women’s rights.

“I think it’s such a focused group on the job at hand, but at the same time, we are compassionate, and we believe strongly in and support women’s rights,” Zimmerman said.

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