CHRISTIAN Pulisic could not even celebrate scoring against Iran after he injured himself as the United States beat Iran 1-0 Tuesday in an entertaining Group B decider to storm into the last 16 of the World Cup.

Needing a win to reach the knockout stages, the Americans were relentless in attack in a high-tempo game and broke the deadlock in the 38th minute when Sergino Dest’s perfect header found Pulisic, who clashed with the goalkeeper as he bundled the ball in and was too injured to celebrate.

Spurred on by an electric atmosphere at Doha’s Al Thumama stadium, the US team oozed confidence and was always in control against an Iran side who could have advanced with a draw.

Yunus Musah and Weston McKennie were instrumental in almost every US move, with Dest always troubling Iran, who were outplayed and created few chances.

The meeting between the two diplomatic adversaries was the first at a World Cup since the 1998 tournament in France, a match dubbed “the mother of all football matches.”  Reuters