Christian Pulisic was substituted at half-time after scoring the winning goal for the United States against Iran in their Group B finale in Qatar on Tuesday.
The Chelsea winger was involved in a hard collision with Iran keeper Alireza Beiranvand shortly before half-time as he tapped in a headed cross from Sergino Dest to put the US up 1-0 — a goal would that be enough to earn the Americans the win and second spot in the group.
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Pulisic lay on the ground in the goalmouth for a few minutes before leaving the field and receiving attention from the team’s trainers before coming back on and finishing the first half.
Brenden Aaronson came on for Pulisic after half-time, with a US Soccer spokesperson telling ESPN after the match that he was taken to the hospital for scans on an abdominal injury.
“Obviously we’re very thankful that he threw his body there,” said Pulisic’s teammate Weston McKennie after the match. “At the end it was a heart-drop sinking moment, but we got it done and we’re excited to still be here.”
US coach Gregg Berhalter praised Pulisic’s hard work and toughness after the match.
“It’s a wonderful thing when one of your best players is also one of the most hard working,” Berhalter said. “He’s certainly that. I can’t say enough positive things about Christian.”
US captain Tyler Adams said he was praying for his teammate and said it’s goals like these he’s come to expect from Pulisic.
“How many goals has he scored like that in his career? Back post arriving, he’s brilliant,” Adams said. “The way that his timing is into the box and to get in front of that ball — he’ll do anything to this team in order for us to win.
“Huge player for us, obviously. Praying for him, hoping everything is OK. He’ll hang in there. I know he’ll do anything to play in the next game.”
Josh Sargent was replaced by Haji Wright in the 75th minute after landing awkwardly on his right foot while avoiding a tackle. Like Pulisic, he also received treatment on the field but was able to walk off the field.
The US saw out nine minutes of second-half stoppage time and a penalty shout from Iran late in the game to win their first game at a World Cup since 2014 and set up a round-of-16 match against Netherlands on Saturday.
USA’s Pulisic injured scoring winning goal against Iran