DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The duty is obvious for the US: beat Iran in a politcally charged World Cup match or go residence.
U.S. gamers have been praised as the very best era of American soccer. However they completed third behind Canada and Mexico in World Cup qualifying and now face a must-win closing group-stage match.
“A very powerful factor is that we management the end result of our journey on this event with the final sport in opposition to Iran,” midfielder Weston McKennie stated. “So the subsequent factor is simply to exit and get three factors in opposition to Iran.”
“We acquired to win the sport,” midfielder Gio Reyna stated. “We’re not likely occupied with the rest, simply three factors after which we’re by means of.”
Iran famously beat the U.S. 2-1 in a 1998 World Cup match in France that eradicated the Individuals and induced hundreds of flag-waving followers to greet the Iranians after they returned residence. Within the leadup to the rematch Tuesday, the U.S. Soccer Federation angered Iran’s authorities by briefly displaying Iran’s flag on social media without the emblem of the Islamic Republic.
For the U.S., this yr’s state of affairs is just like 2010, when the Individuals had been on the verge of elimination within the final spherical of group play earlier than Landon Donovan’s stoppage-time aim beat Algeria 1-0.
“I simply hope we don’t go away it to the Ninetieth-whatever minute,” stated Stu Holden, a midfielder on the bench that evening and now a Fox commentator. “It will be fairly cool to name a last-second U.S. winner, however selfishly I’m fairly OK with us simply getting that carried out early and transferring on to the spherical of 16 as a result of that that will be so much higher for my blood stress.”
Iran is coached by Carlos Queiroz, who as a U.S. Soccer Federation adviser in 1998 wrote a participant improvement blueprint aimed toward profitable a World Cup by 2010. Iran’s assault is led by Porto’s Mehdi Taremi, who has 5 Champions League targets this season.
Iran rebounded from a 6-2 opening match loss to England with a 2-0 upset of Wales, placing the crew in place to advance for the primary time in six World Cups. Midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh of Feyenoord is suspended after selecting up a yellow card in each his first matches in Qatar.
Targets have been a battle for a U.S. crew, which acquired simply three from forwards in 14 World Cup qualifiers.
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter is aware of that has to vary.
“You bought to attain,” he stated.
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