US lauds wounded hero Christian Pulisic for getting them into last 16

The US booked their place in the last 16 of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar thanks to a Christian Pulisic goal. But the star spent the night in hospital as a result.
Christian Pulisic was hailed by his teammates on Tuesday after his first-half strike sent the US through to the World Cup knockout rounds, with the effort landing him in hospital with an abdominal injury.
The Chelsea forward burst into the area and bundled the ball over the line in the 38th minute of Tuesday’s Group B decider against Iran. But he could not even celebrate the goal because he had injured himself following a collision with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.
Coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed Pulisic was injured and sent to hospital as a precaution after feeling dizzy, and said the players had a short video call with him from the dressing room.
“We got to speak to him and he’s in good spirits,” Berhalter told a news conference.
“That’s what he does, that’s the special quality he has and as soon as a goal is wide he goes in with intensity. He crashes the box and makes it really difficult for defenders with his change of pace.”
The US join Group B rival England in advancing to the round of 16, fielding what was the national team’s youngest starting 11 yet, in a must-win match against a physically tough Iran side.
There was no official news of Pulisic’s availability for Saturday’s round-of-16 match against Group A winners Netherlands, but US midfielder Weston McKennie said Pulisic had told him he would be ready.
“I sent him a text and checked on him, and he said, ‘Best believe I’ll be ready on Saturday’,” ESPN quoted McKennie as saying.
McKennie praised Pulisic’s bravery but said the team were like brothers and any of them would have done the same.
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“Obviously we’re very thankful that he threw his body there, but the thing is we have 25 other guys aside from Christian who would do the same thing, I believe,” he said. Seeing his willingness to “throw his body on the line”, he added, “that should tell you enough about how close this team is”.
The US dominated the match but came under pressure late in the game and had to defend resolutely as Iran fought desperately to get an equaliser that would have sent them through to ...