IR Iran v USA: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
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When the United States needed a goal, its biggest star stepped up. When he couldn't go on, the rest of his team got the job done. The USA is into the round of 16 thanks to Christian Pulisic's goal and stout defense in a 1-0 win over IranThe USA will face the Netherlands on Saturday. 

USMNT now has multiple shutouts in a single World Cup for just the second time ever.

  • Pulisic scored his first career World Cup goal in the 38th minute, when Weston McKennie lofted a ball over the Iran defense to Sergiño Dest, who headed the ball back across the face of goal for Pulisic to score as he crashed into the Iranian keeper. You can see the goal here.
  • Pulisic was subbed off for Brenden Aaronson at halftime and went to the hospital to undergo testing after experiencing dizziness following the collision. He was diagnosed with a pelvic contusion and is day-to-day.
  • The USA then held strong in the second half without Pulisic. Defenders Tyler Adams, Tim Ream, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Walker Zimmerman made several key interventions ahead of rock-solid goalkeeper Matt Turner.

This was the exact type of nerve-wracking, edge-of-your-seat stuff that makes the World Cup so special. The United States had to win to advance, while Iran only needed a draw. Ultimately, the Stars and Stripes held on, and manager Gregg Berhalter deserves plenty of credit, writes soccer expert Chuck Booth.

  • Booth: "Berhalter has made some massive calls during this World Cup. Not only with leaving Zack Steffen and Ricardo Pepi out of the squad but also starting [Josh] Sargent, Ream, and Turner. All three have been big parts of why the team is in the last 16 right now as well as Carter-Vickers who was a surprise inclusion in the lineup against Iran. While the job isn't done, Berhalter's plan has been spot on during this World Cup and he'll have more calls to make if Pulisic and Sargent can't go. "

Chuck also wrote about just how good the USA midfield has been -- and why it could be good for a long, long time. I highly encourage you to check it out.

As for player ratings, Pulisic led the way with an 8/10, and plenty of others earned high marks as well.

Honorable mentions

Not so honorable mentions

College Football Playoff Rankings: Georgia, Michigan, TCU and USC are penultimate top four 🏈

The penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings are here, and there are major changes after last week's drama.

Ohio State fell from No. 2 to No. 5 after getting crushed by Michigan, and USC jumped from No. 6 to No. 4 thanks to losses by both the Buckeyes and LSU, as well as their own win over Notre Dame. Here's the new top six:

The Trojans are now a Pac-12 Championship Game win over Utah away from becoming the first Pac-12 squad to make the playoff since Washington in 2016-17. The Utes, though, are the only team to beat the Trojans this season -- in a 43-42 thriller in mid-October.

NFL Power Rankings: Bengals rise, Cowboys back in top five 🏈


It's amazing what two wins in five days -- both against playoff-caliber teams -- can do for you. Two weeks ago, the Cowboys were coming off an upset loss to the Packers that had us questioning whether one of the league's most talented teams could put it all together consistently. Now, after a blowout win over the Vikings and a straightforward Thanksgiving victory over the Giants, Dallas is back up to No. 5 in our NFL senior writer Pete Prisco's latest Power Rankings.

The Cowboys are behind the Chiefs, Eagles, Dolphins and Bills, who stayed put at No. 1-4, in that order. Also on the rise are the Bengals, who jumped from 10th to eighth after a win at Tennessee. They have a huge opportunity this weekend at the Chiefs, Pete writes.

  • Prisco: "The Bengals beat the Chiefs twice last season, the last time in Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game. ... The Chiefs are the league's top-ranked team, which makes Sunday another prove-it game for the Bengals. Win it, and they will certainly be viewed as a Super Bowl contender again. Lose, and the early troubles might be back at the forefront. But at least they showed they can win ugly against the Titans."

The Browns were the highest risers -- from 25th to 17th -- while the Titans went the other way, falling from fifth to 10th.

England tops Group B; Netherlands, Senegal advance from Group A ⚽

The USA wasn't the only team officially advancing into the round of 16 on Tuesday. England thrashed Wales3-0, to win Group B. It was a stark contrast from the Three Lions' 0-0 draw against the USA, and Marcus Rashford led the way with a pair of goals and an 8/10 rating from James Benge.

  • Benge: "It is as if the fresh-faced superstar of 2016 has returned from a lengthy hibernation; as has been the case at club level, Rashford seems to have fallen back in love with his game. His run, devastating trickery and fierce finish for his second goal was one of the best pieces of individual quality this tournament has seen."

In Group A, the Netherlands eased past already-eliminated Qatar 2-0, with goals from Cody Gakpo -- who will be a handful for the USA -- and Frenkie de Jong. In the other Group A match, Senegal beat Ecuador2-1, with Kalidou Koulibaly providing the winner minutes after Ecuador's Moises Caicedo had canceled out Ismaila Sarr's opener. England-Senegal should be a good one in the round of 16.

Here are our picks for today's action.

Tiger Woods speaks out on LIV Golf, Greg Norman 🏌

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One day after withdrawing from the Hero World Challenge due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot, Tiger Woods had plenty to say about a variety of topics Tuesday, but his loudest words were saved for LIV Golf.

  • Woods said that the first step in peace talks between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf would be removing LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman.
  • Another step, Woods said, would be the two leagues dropping the legal battles between them.
  • Woods' words echo much of what Rory McIlroy said a few weeks ago.

Woods also spoke strongly against the Official World Golf Rankings, echoing Jon Rahm's thoughts. Let our golf expert Kyle Porter explain.

  • Porter: "Rahm's argument, in its most basic form, was that the OWGR should not be rewarding the RSM Classic winner with 37 points and the DP World Tour Championship winner with just 22 points when the latter had to defeat seven top 25 players in the world and the former had to defeat none. The OWGR, on the other hand, has structured its points system to reward beating bigger fields rather than smaller ones (the DP World Tour Championship had just 50 players while the RSM had 156)."

Finally, Woods provided an update on his own health, saying in part "I can hit the golf ball and hit whatever shot you want, I just can't walk." Woods said he hopes to play in the four majors and "maybe one or two more" events this season.

What we're watching Wednesday 📺

⚽ We're watching the World Cup. Here's the schedule.
🏒 Sabres at Red Wings, 7 p.m. on TNT
🏀 No. 17 Duke at No. 25 Ohio State, 7:15 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Heat at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. on NBA TV
🏀 No. 18 UNC at No. 10 Indiana, 9:15 p.m. on ESPN
🏒 Oilers at Blackhawks, 9:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 Trail Blazers at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. on NBA TV

2022 USMNT World Cup kits now available

Team USA is on to the knockout rounds. Get the latest USMNT World Cup kits for Team USA's run through the world's biggest tournament. Buy home and away gear, plus hoodies, track pants, and more. Shop here and celebrate this epic event.

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