The United States defeated Iran 1-0 Tuesday on a first-half goal by Christian Pulisic, advancing to the second round of the World Cup and avenging a 2-1 loss to the Islamic republic at the 1998 tournament.
The result finished the Americans in second place in Group B and earned them a second-round match against the Group A winner Netherlands on Saturday.
Pulisic, a Hershey, Pennsylvania, native who plays for London soccer club Chelsea, redirected a headed ball from AC Milan's Sergino Dest, volleying it from just inside the 6-yard box in the 38th minute.
The victory, combined with draws against Wales (1-1) and England (0-0), gave the United States 5 points, two fewer than England, which defeated Wales 3-0 on Tuesday and won Group B, two ahead of Iran and four better than Wales.
Only the two top teams from each of the eight first-round groups advance to the single-elimination, or knockout, rounds.
The win in Doha, Qatar, gave the Americans some measure of revenge for its 1998 loss in Lyon, France, dubbed “The Mother of All Games” at the time and was one of the most publicized matches — despite neither team being considered a contender — because of the political overtones.
Similarly, Tuesday’s match also was highly anticipated for many of the same reasons. Iran had called for the United States to be expelled from the World Cup after the U.S. team’s social media account published a Twitter post of the Iranian flag without the emblem in the middle of the banner.
The Islamic republic charged the United States had removed God from its flag.
The United States’ advancement to the second round comes four years after it failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
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