Christian Pulisic became an American soccer icon on Tuesday when his first-half goal against Iran helped propel the United States to the knockout rounds of the World Cup; but it came at a brutal price.
Pulisic was injured during the game when he hit goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand directly. He was off the field for the second half of the game and was taken to the hospital with what was then known as an abdominal injury.
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The US Football Association said Pulisic had been diagnosed with a contused pelvis and was back at the team hotel. A video posted to social media showed him arriving back at the team hotel and celebrating with the rest of the team.
He was listed as the day-to-day as the USA take on the Netherlands in the round of 16. An image from SnapChat appeared to show Pulisic in a hospital bed with a commitment letter for Saturday’s game.
“So damn proud of my boys,” read the message. “I’ll be ready on Saturday, don’t worry.”
WORLD CUP 2022: USA ADVANCED TO THE KO STAGE BY WIN OVER IRAN
Pulisic was part of the unit that failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Now the 24-year-old is an American soccer hero. Tim Weah put it simply: “We love him and we thank him.”
“He’s huge. That he didn’t qualify for the last World Cup and then he’s here and qualifying us, that’s just a work of God. God bless him.” Added woah. “I love him and he is so important to this team. He’s a key player and leader, so someone we definitely need.”
Iran had several chances to level the game and a draw would have knocked out the USA and sent Iran through to the next round.
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“I think we showed what we can do as a footballer in the first half. We had a really good first half. In the second half we showed what we can do with determination,” said coach Gregg Berhalter. “The lads grinned and gave every ounce of energy and we go into the next round undefeated.”
Fox News and Associated Press’ Ryan Morik contributed to this report.