The United States got the result they needed on Tuesday to advance to the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup.
Now the difficult work begins.
Thanks to their 1-0 victory over Iran, the United States advanced out of the group stage of the World Cup, as the runners-up in Group B. England, who played the United States to a draw on Friday, won the group with a pair of dominant performances. England defeated Iran 6-2 to open their World Cup, and after a scoreless draw with the United States, England topped Wales 3-0 in their final match of group play.
The United States opened their World Cup with a pair of draws, first a 1-1 match with Wales and then Friday’s scoreless draw with England. Needing a victory on Tuesday to advance, the United States scored late in the first half when Christian Pulisic put his body on the line to push one past Iranian keeper Alireza Beiranvand:
The United States looked to add a second goal later in the first half, but Tim Weah’s effort was ruled offside.
In the second half the United States withstood a valiant effort from Iran, as an equalizer would have sent Iran through to the knockout round. Those final frenetic moments included a review for a potential penalty which could have given Iran a fantastic chance to pull level. But the United States managed to survive, including over nine minutes of stoppage time, to see them through to the knockout round.
With two draws and a victory, this was only the second time the United States finished undefeated in World Cup group play. The first time the USMNT accomplished that feat came back in 2010.
Their reward for this year’s effort? A match with the Netherlands on Saturday.
The Netherlands, currently ranked eighth in FIFA’s rankings, advanced as the winners of Group A. They defeated Senegal 2-0 in their opening match, and after a 1-1 draw with Ecuador, the Netherlands won the group with Tuesday’s 2-0 victory over Qatar. Netherlands is -230 to advance at DraftKings Sportsbook while the USA is +360.
This will be the first World Cup meeting between the two nations. The last time these two teams met came in 2015 in an international friendly, which saw the United States win by a final score of 4-3.
That was also the only time the United States won a match against the Netherlands, as the Netherlands had won the previous four international friendlies.
Now the United States will wait on injury news, as both Pulisic and Josh Sargent were subbed off during the match due to injury.
But their first job at the World Cup was to advance to the knockout round, and they checked that item off the to-do list with one of the biggest victories in USMNT history.
Now the real work begins.