World Cup 2022: USA relishing Dutch battle – with or without Christian Pulisic

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Host nation: Qatar Dates: 20 November-18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport web site and app. Day-by-day TV listingsFull coverage details

The United States are within the World Cup final 16 – however will Christian Pulisic be with them after they tackle the Netherlands on Saturday?

As he turned in Sergino Dest’s header, Pulisic collided with goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand, struggling a blow to his stomach, and was taken off at half-time.

USA supervisor Gregg Berhalter later confirmed the ahead – named participant of the match, even after his early exit – was taken to hospital “as a precaution” as he felt dizziness following the harm.

Christian Pulisic
Christian Pulisic scored however got here off injured at half-time in opposition to Iran, because the USA gained 1-0

With the Netherlands up subsequent for the USA within the final 16, they may hope to have Pulisic is again in time – not least as a result of he has had a hand in each of their targets on the event to date.

“We Facetimed him afterwards from the locker room and we acquired to see him and he is in good spirits,” stated Berhalter.

“I’m guessing he had his telephone with him and had updates [on the game].”

‘We need to be on this place’

USA celebrate
The USA haven’t misplaced a recreation at this World Cup, having crushed Iran and Wales and drawn with England

Berhalter wanted a win from his facet to make the final 16, in opposition to opponents who would have gone by means of with a draw.

He was given a “decided” and “centered” efficiency because the USA dug in to retain their slender lead.

“It was a troublesome proposition understanding that Iran might doubtlessly simply want a tie to undergo. That made the sport somewhat difficult,” stated Berhalter.

“But I noticed an incredible quantity of focus. The finish of the sport is what I’m most happy with – it was excessive dedication to not buckle.”

Berhalter wouldn’t be drawn on questions on how far the US might go, having reached the knockout phases for a 3rd time in 4 World Cups.

“I’m certain there’s lots of people watching. The US reporters will speak to you about defining this group and I feel it is beginning to take form,” he added.

“You see how unified [the players] are and the way a lot power they put into it and alongside the best way is a few fairly good soccer.

“It’s a fantastic alternative nevertheless it’s not one thing we’re going into pondering it is an honour. We need to be within the place we’re in and we need to maintain going.

“We do not need to be at house subsequent Wednesday.”

‘Bring status to the jersey of Iran’

USA celebrate at full-time
Iran solely wanted a draw in opposition to the USA to progress to the knockout phases

It has been a turbulent event for Iran as controversy has dominated proceedings off the pitch amid anti-authorities protests again house.

Head coach Carlos Queiroz, who has tried to bat away questions on politics with a view to scale back the strain on his gamers, was left to replicate on a bunch-stage exit after two defeats in three matches.

“Football all the time punishes the group that does not rating. The group that scored within the first half was deserved,” stated Queiroz.

“We created alternatives we did not rating and are punished with the outcome. A draw was the precise outcome however in soccer equity would not exist.

“I’m very proud and honoured for having the prospect of being a coach for the Iran squad and gamers.”

In the construct-as much as their closing match with the USA, there were reportsexternal-link that the households of Iran’s squad have been threatened with imprisonment and torture if the gamers didn’t “behave”.

“We have heard a number of tales about threats that gamers have obtained however that stated, what I can state is that due to their work, gamers little by little have began smiling once more,” stated Queiroz.

“They understood who they’re taking part in for and understood their mission. I’m very glad they have been capable of give a response on the sphere of play and convey status to the jersey of their nation.”

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