Christian Pulisic scored in the 38th minute, and the U.S. men’s national team held on in a must-win match to defeat Iran, 1-0, in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday to advance to the round of 16.
The U.S. plays Group A winner the Netherlands on Saturday. Group B winner England plays Group A runner-up Senegal on Sunday.
The U.S. finished second in Group B with five points (1-0-2) to reach the knockout stage for the sixth time in 11 World Cup appearances.
Iran (1-0-2, three points) only needed a tie to advance out of group play for the first time.
England 3, Wales 0
England marched into the last 16 of the World Cup as Group B winners after Marcus Rashford’s two goals and a third from a Phil Foden strike justified their first starts of the tournament in a 3-0 hammering of Wales on Tuesday.
Wales, which needed an unlikely four-goal victory to reach the knockout rounds, defended deeply and frustrated England in a subdued scoreless first half at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.
But Gareth Southgate’s side took charge in the second half, moving their total goals in group play to nine.
Wales could have reached the last 16 with a victory if the match between Iran and the United States ended in a tie but any hope of that scenario evaporated rapidly once Rashford smashed home a free kick five minutes after the break.
A minute later Manchester City’s Foden, another of the four changes Southgate made to his starting lineup, converted from close range after a fine low cross from Harry Kane.
That ended Wales’ first World Cup appearance in 64 years.
Senegal 2, Ecuador 1
Kalidou Koulibaly’s second-half strike earned Senegal a 2-1 win against Ecuador and sent the African team into the knockout phase of the World Cup for the second time on Tuesday.
Koulibaly fired home from a clearance in the 70th minute, three minutes after Moises Caicedo had canceled out Ismaila Sarr’s first-half penalty, to push Senegal to six points in Group A, one behind the Netherlands who beat hosts Qatar 2-0.
Ecuador, who needed a draw to qualify for the last 16 for the second time after 2006, end up third on four points after a game played to the relentless beat of the Senegal fans’ drums.
Senegal reached the quarterfinals in 2002 in their last appearance in the knockout round.
Netherlands 2, Qatar 0
Cody Gakpo netted his third goal in three games as the Netherlands comfortably beat World Cup hosts Qatar 2-0 at the Al Bayt Stadium on Tuesday to secure top spot in Group A and advance to the knockout stages.
The Qataris had been eliminated after their 3-1 loss to Senegal and despite huge investment in state-of-the-art facilities to host the World Cup, they came up short again on the pitch.
Source: Voice of America