The United States moved to the knockout phase in World Cup after Christian Pulisic scored in the 38th minute during a decisive match against Iran.
Pulisic sprawled on the field and was lying in the goal for almost three minutes, before receiving medical attention from the team staff. He reentered the game but was replaced at the start of the second half.
Back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the U.S. opened with draws against Wales and England and needed a victory to move on to the round of 16.
The Americans finished second in Group B with five points, two behind England, and will play the Netherlands on Saturday with the chance to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002.
“I always say it’s us against the world,” forward Tim Weah said. “No one believed the U.S. could play good football.”
The USMNT secured second place in Group B with five points. England, leading the group with seven points, will also move to the round of 16 after defeating Wales 3-nil.
Iran finished third with three points. The team has failed to advance in all six of its World Cup appearances.
The U.S. outshot Iran 9-0 in the first half but didn’t break through until Pulisic came up with the big moment that a growing and increasingly demanding fan base back home had been pining for.
Iran had famously upset the U.S. 2-1 in the 1998 tournament in France, eliminating the Americans.
“I hope that our fans and our people in Iran forgive us. I am just sorry," Iran striker Mehdi Taremi said after the match.