Christian Pulisic was treated for minutes after his goal against Iran, and shortly afterwards the star of the US soccer team even had to go to the hospital. The offensive player paid for the entry into the round of 16 of the World Cup with pain. Coaches and teammates praise his commitment.
While still in the stadium, the players of the American national soccer team made a video call to their tragic hero in the hospital. "He was in good spirits," said coach Gregg Berhalter about match winner Christian Pulisic. The US team is hoping for their first place in the quarter-finals of a World Cup in 20 years in Qatar - and the return of their key attacking player in the round of 16 against the Netherlands on Saturday.
Pulisic had scored the winning goal in the 38th minute but collided violently with Iran's keeper Ali Beiranvand. After minutes of treatment, the 24-year-old continued to play until the break, but was then substituted and taken to the hospital. Because of an abdominal injury and for further investigations, as the US association announced. "He got a little dizzy," said Coach Berhalter of the ex-Borussia Dortmund player, who now plays for Chelsea in England.
Pulisic is the Americans' great hope in Qatar - and has been directly involved in their two goals so far in the tournament. He set up Timothy Weah's goal in the first game against Wales (1-1) with a dream pass, against Iran he scored himself after a fine combination over three stops. Berhalter said he simply had these irresistible qualities in the penalty area.
"We're grateful he risked his body there. We love him," said teammate Weah. The former Bundesliga professional is a "leader and someone we definitely need". Especially against the Dutch, who finished first in Group A. His players now have to recover and prepare for a "really good" Oranje team, said US coach Berhalter.