This is the match that will either advance Team USA to the round of 16 in the 2022 World Cup or see America knocked out of the international soccer tournament.
The United States faces Iran on Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern in Doha, Qatar, coming on the heels of the U.S. recording a 1-1 tie against Wales and a scoreless draw against England last week.
But a tie won’t keep Team USA alive this time; in order to finish in either the first or second spot in Group B and win a place in the knockout bracket, the U.S. must beat Iran.
Iran, meanwhile, is coming off of a stunning 2-0 victory over Wales on Friday (after falling to England, 6-2, in its World Cup opener earlier in the week.) The Iranian team could stay in the tournament through a few scenarios: beating Team USA; or tying with Team USA if Wales draws or loses against England. (As for England and Wales, they will be playing at the same time that the U.S. and Iran play).
But Iran will also be eliminated from the tournament if they lose on Tuesday. So the stakes are high for both teams to score a victory.
What’s more, tensions flared up between the two teams this week after U.S. Soccer’s official social-media accounts temporarily posted a version of Iran’s national flag without the emblem of the Islamic Republic, which was done in a show of solidarity with protesters in Iran — namely those supporting women’s rights. “We wanted to show our support for the women in Iran with our graphic for 24 hours,” the U.S. Soccer Federation said in a statement. In response, Iran’s government accused America of removing the name of God from its flag, and reportedly called for America to be disqualified from the World Cup over the incident.
Read more: Tehran said to have pushed for U.S. team’s ouster from Qatar World Cup over Iranian flag flap
And: Why is the Qatar World Cup so controversial? Here’s a list of issues overshadowing FIFA’s quadrennial showpiece.
Here’s what else to know about the match:
MarketWatch illustration of how Team USA and Iran match up heading into their World Cup match.
The U.S. vs. Iran match begins at 2 p.m. Eastern, and can be watched or streamed on Fox in English (via your local Fox channel, fuboTV, FoxSports.com, the Fox Sports app) and Telemundo in Spanish (via fuboTV, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and Peacock.)
World Cup 2022: How to watch, who’s favored to win and everything else you need to know
America has never beat Iran in a men’s soccer match, losing to Iran in 1998 and tying in 2000 — the only two previous times that the teams have squared off.
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