Lee Heidhues 11.29.2022
It was a nail biting World Cup match. Both teams left it all on the Pitch, particularly USA striker Christian Pulisic who was injured plowing into the Iranian goalkeeper as he scored the only goal of the match.
In the end the Americans prevailed.
Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 11.29.2022
Iran’s run at the World Cup is over after they narrowly lost to the the United States in a tense contest in Doha.
A single Iranian goal would have been enough to flip the result on its head, but it never came as the US held firm to reach the knockout stages for the first time since 2014.
“The dream is over,” Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said.”We will keep going and try to win respect and admiration and credibility all over the world, because I think my players deserve it.”
Iran leave the competition having made headlines around the world when they refused to sing the national anthem in their opening game, which set the tone as Iranian fans, including many women, proudly displayed their pro-revolutionary symbols, slogans and attire.
The Iranian player Voria Ghafouri, not selected for the tournament but one of the country’s most prominent players, was even arrested back in Iran for supporting the women-led protests and “spreading propaganda” back home.
Reports even surfaced on Monday night that Iran had threatened the players’ families with imprisonment and torture if the players fail to “behave” ahead of Tuesday’s game.
“Conditions in our country are not right, and our people are not happy,” Iranian captain Ehsan Hajsafi told reporters after the England game. Hajsafi added that the victims’ families back home “should know that we are with them, we support them and we sympathize with them.”
The US will face the Netherlands on Saturday after Christian Pulisic’s solitary goal settled what was effectively a playoff for the knockout stages with group winners England beating Wales 3-0 in the group’s other game.
Tensions went up a notch at the World Cup when US Soccer posted the Iranian flag minus the emblem of the Islamic Republic, which has been present on the flag since 1980, one year after the Islamic Republic was established. US Soccer deleted the posts claiming that it was done to “show support for the women in Iran fighting for basic human rights” but the damage was already done.
The American coach, Gregg Berhalter, apologised for the tweet of the flag. “I can only reiterate that the players and staff knew nothing about what was being posted sometimes things are out of our control,” he said. That didn’t stop US captain Tyler Adams, the youngest captain at the tournament at 23, from being rebuked by an Iranian journalist in the pre-match press conference for mispronouncing “Iran”.