The Chelsea man scored the game's only goal – and was forced off with the injury he suffered in the process – but it was enough for Greg Berghalter's side to book a last 16 tie against the Netherlands. The three points sealed second place in Group B behind England for the States.
The USMNT knew only a victory would see them qualify for the knockout stages and they dominated virtually from the first whistle.
In a high-octane opening, Timothy Weah should have done better when reacting to a deflected Josh Sargeant shot, opting to head tamely at goal instead of taking a touch. He later blazed over after some good work from Sergino Dest down the right.
It looked like the USA might not turn their dominance into a tangible lead, until the impressive Dest got forward once again on the overlap and squared to Pulisic with his head. The Chelsea man threw himself in harm's way to bundle home from close range – and at some personal cost; he didn't emerge for the second half.
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It might have been 2-0 just before the break when Weah broke through and slotted left-footed into the far corner, but was rightly flagged offside.
The second half was scrappy as Iran tried to fight their way back – knowing a draw would be enough to qualify – but they failed to produce anything of quality in the attacking third.
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