US victory over Iran ends tense week


Doha, Qatar — On Monday, United States of america Greg Berhalter, manager of the men’s national team, was asked to become, among other things, an economist, a customs agent, an expert on military policy, and an ambassador to the United Nations.

On Tuesday, he finally got what he wanted most: a coach who took his team to the knockout rounds of the World Cup.

after the closure of the United States Iran, 1-0, At Al Thumama Stadium, Berhalter grabbed his coaching staff in a group beer hug in the technical area, their arms wrapped tightly around each other’s shoulders as they bounced up and down. He then ran onto the field to celebrate with his players and a raucous contingent of American fans behind the goal.

Four years after taking over a program in disarray, Berhalter led the US to the biggest win of his career by some distance.

Berhalter later said, “It’s the first time in 92 years that we’ve had two shutouts in the World Cup.” “So, the boys are doing something right.”

It was a remarkable 24 hours for Berhalter, an incredible matchup that could only exist in international soccer – and only with a matchup like the one the US had against Iran, a country whose history, both on its own and in the United The States, as with, is deep and complicated and messy.

It is history that fueled the build-up. US Soccer played no small role in the unease ahead of the game, as the federation – without the knowledge of Berhalter or his players – Posted pictures on social media that showed the flag of Iran without the Islamic Republic logo in an effort to show support for Women in Iran fighting for the most basic human rights,

may have been done with good intentions, yet it made a firearm, and Berhalter was left to try and navigate it. At his news conference on Monday, Iranian journalists pelted him with harsh questions, asking him to explain why inflation may be contributing to his team’s lack of popularity or to justify the different visa requirements which the United States has for the Iranians. to travel there. There was a question about US warships in the area.

It was, either way, bizarre, but Berhalter — to his credit — handled it deftly. he apologized Social media post can be reason for any offense Expressing support for those who are struggling for a better life. He did his best to focus on football. In many ways, this match was the decision day for Berhalter and his players at the end of a four-year resurgence, and Berhalter needed to do everything he could to make sure his players were ready for it. Were.

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Steve Nicol and Craig Burley preview the United States’ round of 16 match against the Netherlands at the World Cup.

In short, they were. Badmouthing Berhalter is a cottage industry in the circles of those who follow the US team closely — such is life as an international manager, in fact — but this much is certain: Berhalter won a Gold Cup and a Nations League. Has won he has been beaten Mexico Thrice (including World Cup qualifying). He has overseen a complete roster overhaul of young and talented international players, made it tough – and in some cases surprising – who to bring to Qatar and has now taken that team to the round of 16 at the World Cup.

is she perfect? He is not. Their tactics or substitution patterns still have to be properly criticized, but forward Joshua Sargent was recalled and delivered a strong performance against Iran, as did the defender. Cameron Carter-Vickers (who came for walker zimmerman, Tim ReamA surprise late addition to the roster just before the World Cup, he was strong in defense as well. Although it could have been tense, the USA was able to see their lead being held late on.

More than that, Berhalter inspired his players, motivating them to meet the moment. Berhalter recalled earlier in the week how he watched the US lose to Iran Infamous 1998 World Cup meeting, and he highlighted how the mismatch in emotional levels on the field stood out for most of them. The Iranians wanted the Games so badly, Berhalter said, and it was clear that the Americans were nowhere near that kind of sentiment.

On Tuesday, that wasn’t an issue. not even close. There was fire, sure. But also believe that the moment was not huge.

“There was a calmness about the team,” Ream said. “No one was breathing heavily or had panic in their eyes.”

It helped that the strategy was also in place. christian pulisicThe goal was the result of a sequence that Ream said Berhalter and the coaches had specifically emphasized in their scouting, pulling the play aside to expose the back post for Pulisic to attack. The goal was, as Reem said, “perfect, perfect, perfect,” save for Pulisic’s clash with the Iranian goalkeeper who sent Pulisic off. going to the hospital in between games for an abdominal scan,

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Herculez Gomez says the USMNT performance was “quite impressive” after defeating Iran 1-0 to move into the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup.

If Pulisic can’t play against Netherlands On (or limited to) Saturday, it will be another bump for Berhalter to navigate. He has options Giovanni Reyna still haven’t shown much and Branden Aaronson There’s a live substitute — but, either way, motivation for the group will again be key.

That’s what Berhalter wants. He never backed down from the stake of his mission. He has repeatedly stated that the goal of this team is to change the perception of American football around the world. play against England helped him. So, did Tuesday.

Now another opportunity has come. One More Chance. Berhalter will bear the arrows; All coaches do. He will shoulder the criticisms. He only cares that his players get to see what he sees, to know what he knows: that this team can do anything. On Tuesday, after hugs and hugs and a FaceTime call to the hospital so Pulisic could join in on the fun, Berhalter came to a more traditional news conference, and reflected on what he liked most about the night. .

He said, ‘We believed in ourselves. “We believed in what we were doing.”

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