USA confident Christian Pulisic will be fit for Netherlands World Cup clash despite injury

The Chelsea forward's goal in Tuesday’s winner-takes-all Group B clash against Iran sent the United States through to the knockout round for the first time since 2014

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Christian Pulisic is confident the pelvic injury he sustained in firing USA to victory over Iran will not rule him out of the World Cup last-16 showdown against Netherlands on Saturday.

The Chelsea forward's goal in Tuesday’s winner-takes-all Group B clash in Doha sent the United States through to the knockout round for the first time since 2014.

The 24-year-old was hurt scoring the decisive 38th-minute strike after colliding with Iran goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and did not return for the second half at Al Thumama Stadium.

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."

Pulisic was unable to celebrate his goal, which secured the USA second spot in the group behind England, and stayed down for several minutes.

He appeared to hurt his leg and his torso as he flew into Beiranvand at full pace, with his face and neck also hitting the keeper’s chest.

Pulisic was helped from the pitch by medics and then briefly returned before being replaced by Leeds’ Brenden Aaronson at the break.

Christian Pulisic grimaces after colliding with Iran's goalkeeper to score what proved to be the matchwinner for USA. EPA

Teammate Weston McKennie said Pulisic had told him he would be ready for the Netherlands match.

"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.

"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.

"You see the statue Christian has and that he's willing to throw his body on the line. That should tell you enough about how close this team is."

Iran substitute Saman Ghoddos wasted two clear scoring opportunities.

"The dream is over," Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said. "Unfortunately football always punishes the team that doesn't score."

Updated: November 30, 2022, 6:27 AM