DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Christian Pulisic became an American star with the winning goal — and the injury he got while scoring it — that lifted the United States into the round of 16 at the World Cup.
He injured his pelvic bone, Pulisic insisted, when he collided with Iran’s goalkeeper on the goal that sent him to the hospital as the United States won 1-0 and advanced in soccer’s biggest tournament.
The United States is trying to get to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002 and continue to delight the American audience, which has tuned into the first three matches in record numbers.
The United States is winless in its last 11 World Cup games against European teams, a streak that includes five losses and six draws.
On Saturday, the Americans face a Dutch squad that, like several other World Cup teams at this tournament, is battling the flu.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal gave his team the day off on Thursday instead of running a typical 11-on-11 match.
Netherlands midfielder Cody Gapko is trying to become the first player from his country to score in four straight World Cup matches, and the Dutch team is on an 18-game winning streak that the United States is determined to snap.
“We felt a responsibility to use this World Cup to create momentum in the United States for soccer,” U.S.