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Christian Pulisic took one for the team and put his balls on the line for a World Cup win one year ago

Nov. 29, 2022 was a historic day for the United States men’s national team. It was the day that Christian Pulisic took a brutal blow below the belt for the sake of his country and a place in the 2022 World Cup Round of 16.

At the time of writing, Pulisic’s heroics vs. Iran to secure a 1-0 victory were exactly 365 days ago. In recognition of his goal, let’s take a look back at that glorious day.

The game was do-or-die for the U.S. with the group extra tight going into the final day of group stage action.

USMNT’s group heading into final game

  • England 4 points
  • Iran 3 points
  • USA 2 points
  • Wales 1 point

Draws against Wales and England had earned the young USMNT side some respect, but only a win vs. Iran would see the Americans advance out of the group stage. In two games the U.S. had only scored one goal and were going to need something special to break down Iran.

Several early chances went begging for the Stars and Stripes. One of the best chances came in the 28th minute when a deflection found Tim Weah all alone in front of goal, but his headed effort was far too weak.

A persistent U.S. side continued to dominate the chances until the breakthrough finally came in the 38th minute.

Looking back at the buildup, it was a beautifully worked goal from the USMNT. Weston McKennie spotted a run from Sergiño Dest and put it on a dime behind the Iran defense. Dest then wisely headed it first time to Pulisic who was crashing into the box.

Pulisic got the goal, however he also received the knee of Alireza Beiranvad right to the goodies. An impact to make any many queasy.

Fans might forget that Pulisic sat out for several minutes before grueling out the rest of the first half. He couldn’t do much for the final minutes of the half and when the clock hit halftime, he departed to go to the hospital.

Brenden Aaronson replaced Pulisic at half who watched the game from a hospital bed.

The official injury reported was a pelvic contusion and Pulisic said in a press conference that his sack was intact.

“It was very painful. That bone is there for a reason to protect you; I hit it well,” Pulisic said. “It was sore, but it’s getting better. I didn’t get hit in the balls. I’m all right.”

Even if he denies the exact place he got hit, he’ll always be remembered for putting his body on the line. Nov. 29 is Pulisack Day.

The USMNT saw off Iran in the second half to escape the World Cup group of death. Man, 2026 can’t come fast enough.

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