AL WAKRAH, Qatar – United States men’s national team star Christian Pulisic sustained an abdominal injury and was taken to a local hospital for scans after his thrilling goal lifted the USMNT to a 1-0 win over Iran in a win-or-go-home match on Tuesday night.
“He was taken to the hospital as a precaution,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said afterward. “He was feeling some dizziness. It was a blow to the abdomen.”
Pulisic scored the decisive goal that clinched a spot for the Americans in the round of 16. In the 38th minute, Weston McKennie chipped a ball into the penalty box that right back Sergiño Dest headed to Pulisic, who crashed the far post to score with the inside of his right foot.
Pulisic collided with Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand and lay on the ground for a few seconds rather than immediately celebrate his first-ever goal in a World Cup. His U.S. teammates quickly motioned for the team training staff to tend to him.
For a couple of minutes, Pulisic couldn’t stand up straight and needed trainers to help him walk. Once on the sideline, he tried jogging, then clung to trainers again for support. Eventually, he grabbed a water bottle and ran to midfield to get back in the game to finish out the first half.
Pulisic was clearly in pain when he came back on the field, grimacing and had his hands on his knees, doubled over.
The winger did not come back on the field in the second half and was substituted for Brenden Aaronson. Berhalter said that Pulisic did not play in the second half “due to injury,” but that the team video-chatted with him following the win.
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Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of “Strong Like a Woman,” published in spring 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.
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