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Iran vs. USA final score: Christian Pulisic’s goal the difference as Americans advance to round of 16

Here’s the latest from the contest between Iran and USA.

IR Iran v USA: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Ramin Rezaeian of Iran battles for the ball with Christian Pulisic of the United States during a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between Iran and USMNT at Al Thumama Stadium on November 29, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Iran and USA enter the final match of the group stage at the 2022 World Cup needing a result to get into the knockout round. Iran would secure a spot in the knockout stage with a win, while a draw would have them waiting on the result of the England-Wales contest. For USMNT, the equation is much simpler. A win would put the Americans in the round of 16, while a draw or loss sends Gregg Berhalter’s side home.

Here we’ll bring you the latest updates from this Group B match, and keep an eye on England-Wales as well and occasionally update you on proceedings there.

USA vs. Iran live updates

Full time - That’s a win and a knockout round spot for USA. The Americans have officially qualified as the second team in Group B and will face Netherlands in the round of 16.

90+7 - Another late scare for the Americans as a cross doesn’t quite get collected by Turner. There’s calls for a foul in the box from Iran but the referee does not look interested and USA survive giving up a potential penalty.

90+3 - Iran simply will not go away, not that they were expected to go quietly. Another cross on a free kick which finds an Iranian head, only to whizz past the post. Matt Turner would not have stopped this one if it was on target.

90th minute - We’ve got nine minutes of stoppage time left in this one. If you have any superstitions or good luck charms, now is the time. If you haven’t left your viewing spot for this match, now would not be the time to leave. The USA have to see these final minutes out to secure a spot in the round of 16.

87th minute - USA had a golden opportunity to go up 2-0 but nobody was home on a cross that went across the Iran goal. Aaronson looked to have a shot at it and Musah was in the vicinity as well but another missed chance. We’re in the last stages of this game and Iran are going throw everyone forward. USA likely park the bus here and maybe get a chance on the counter to truly ice this one.

80th minute - The Americans continue to be in control of this match, but have committed a few loose challenges and are giving Iran some quality chances. Iran haven’t been able to do anything offensively in this match but it only takes one goal to swing the entire World Cup campaign. 10 minutes plus stoppage time left for the Americans to maintain or build on this 1-0 advantage.

69th minute - USA had a great opportunity to double the score or at least put a shot on a target with a free kick but Musah makes one of his few bad plays of the game. He sails a shot well past the frame and doesn’t even test the goalkeeper. From where the kick was, this was a disappointing effort. Meanwhile, England have gone up 3-0 on Wales. It looks like England will have the top spot in Group B.

65th minute - Iran just had their best chance of the match and honestly, should have leveled the score here. This is a relatively easy finish from inside the box and unfortunately for Iran, the shot goes wide of the frame.

55th minute - It is officially an abdominal injury for Pulisic, so the team is taking no chances. Iran have made some solid moves in an effort to find an equalizer but the Americans continue to be the more dangerous side in this match. USA will not breathe easy until they can find a second goal, which they’re pushing to do without their top forward.

46th minute - Aaronson has come on for Pulisic, who will sit the rest of this contest. The Americans likely feel they should be able to hold on without their star forward, so they won’t risk him further in this match.

Halftime - Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson are going to come on at some point for USA, with Sargent likely coming off. Pulisic might be another candidate to come off if his injury worsens, but that substitution might have to wait for another 15-20 minutes. We’ll see how Berhalter plays this. USA had 61% of the possession in the first half and outshot Iran 9-0. It has been an absolutely brilliant effort, although the scoreboard doesn’t quite reflect that for now.

Halftime - It’s 1-0 USA at the break and probably could’ve been 2-0 if Tim Weah’s goal was upheld. It looked like the speedy winger was onside at the time of the pass, and certainly it was close enough to at least get a second look on VAR. Nevertheless, the Americans have put on an absolutely dominant performance in the first half and 45 more minutes of this will secure a spot in the knockout round.

38th minute - GOAL USA! Pulisic finishes off the move started by Weston McKennie and Dest, but also suffers an injury on the play. We’ll see if he can continue or whether he gets subbed off but he’s done his job for the Americans who now lead 1-0.

35th minute - USA are finding a lot of success up the right side of the pitch with Sergino Dest and Yunus Musah. Both are overpowering Iranian midfielders and testing the back line well but the forwards have been unable to put any services into the back of the net thus far. We’re still at 0-0, and England-Wales is also deadlocked at the same score.

28th minute - Another big chance for the Americans, but Tim Weah’s header goes right to the goalkeeper. It felt like Weah had enough time to let this deflected ball fall to his feet but it is yet another opportunity for USA. Iran are on their heels right now and have been for much of this match. The question now is whether USA actually do take advantage on the scoreboard.

20th minute - It has been all USA so far in terms of possession and chances. Iran are holding on defensively but by a thread. The Americans have built immense pressure and are not allowing Iran to get out on the counter attack, but unfortunately that hasn’t resulted in any goals yet. The operating word here is “yet” because if USA keep this up, there’s bound to be a favorable bounce or deflection which sits perfectly for a USMNT player to take advantage.

11th minute - The best chance of the game for the Americans came here with Pulisic connecting on a header off a cross. He didn’t get great contact, leading to a relatively easy save but the intent has been great from the Americans.

10th minute - The Americans have had several good chances and are on the front foot early in this match, which is a good sign. Christian Pulisic might’ve made a mistake not passing the ball to Josh Sargent on an early breakaway but USA are getting opportunities. Iran have had a few attacking chances themselves, but nothing too serious to trouble Matt Turner. We’re still at 0-0 here, and England-Wales is also 0-0.

Pregame - We should mention there has been some controversy in the lead-up to this match with USA scrubbing the center symbol on Iran’s flag when it released a preview graphic on social media. Iran’s federation said it would file a complaint with FIFA, who themselves have been highly questionable for not allowing certain displays on jerseys during this tournament. A U.S. soccer spokesperson said the gesture was a one-time thing to show support for Iranian women’s rights, but we’ll see if any of those feelings bleed into this match and things get chippy to start.

Here’s a look at the USMNT starting XI. Most of the team is intact, although Josh Sargent is back in the XI and Cameron Carter-Vickers gets his first start. Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson will come off the bench again if they make an appearance.