Late in the first half of Tuesday’ do-or-die match against Iran, Christian Pulisic came through for the United States, scoring perhaps the most important goal in recent USMNT history as he put a pass from Sergiño Dest past Iranian keeper Alireza Beiranvand to give the United States a 1-0 lead.
But instead of wheeling away in celebration, Pulisic remained down on the turf, having crashed into Beiranvand in the effort. Pulisic was eventually helped off by trainers, and did return to the match, but was subbed off before the second half began.
The United States survived a frenzied second half, and over nine minutes of stoppage time, preserving the one-goal victory to put them through to the knockout stage of the World Cup. Their reward for the effort? A date with the Netherlands on Saturday.
Now they await word on Pulisic’s status for that match.
Here is another look at Pulisic’s effort, as he put his body on the line for the go-ahead goal:
This series of images puts into context just what Pulisic did to see the United States through to the round of 16:
It was Pulisic’s first World Cup goal, and one that will live on in USMNT lore. But it might have come at a steep price, as Pulisic needed to be removed from the match before the second half, after making a short attempt at returning to the pitch:
His injury was termed an “abdominal injury” by the USMNT at the time of the substitution:
According to Kevin Baxter, who covers soccer for the Los Angeles Times, the USMNT star was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation of his abdominal injury:
The United States squares off with the Netherlands at 10:00 a.m. ET on Saturday.
This story will be updated as updates to Pulisic’s condition become available.