USMNT’s World Cup adversary Iran achieves upset victory over Uruguay in friendlies


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The United States lost 2-0 to Japan (panic meter here) on a Friday where nearly all of their fellow group stage opponents were in action. England suffered a shocking 1-0 loss to Italy in San Siro and were relegated from their UEFA Nations League group in the process. Elsewhere, and possibly more importantly, Iran took a surprising 1-0 win over Uruguay in an international friendly in St. Poelten, Austria.

Mehdi Taremi scored the solo goal in the match as Team Melli withstood 16 shots from Uruguay to take a win. While friendlies are not always a great test of team strength for Iran led by Carlos Queiroz, who is back in charge after an eight-year stint from 2011-2019, this result could endanger the United States in their World Cup. group.

Coupled with England, Iran and Wales in Group B, the USMNT has high hopes to get out of the group, but it won’t be easy. This is an Iran side that is pretty solid defensively? despite the move of Dragan Skocic four months before the start of the tournament. The Americans are at their best when attacked head-on, but they can struggle when facing each other who are hard to unlock due to the lack of creative players on the field.

They need the best of Gio Reyna to get past a team like Iran, but depending on the role he plays in Qatar, Iran may be able to isolate him from the action. Japan has shown that if the United States is cut off in midfield, they have no way to adapt, something Gregg Berhalter will have to figure out before the World Cup.

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Group B Chances to Qualify (Courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook)

  • England: -1600
  • United States: +100
  • Wales: +100
  • Iran: +400

When the United States played against Uruguay this summer, they were held to a 0-0 draw against Darwin Nunez who was out of form. Iran needed four saves from Alireza Beiranvand and a strong performance from their entire midfield to win on Friday. While the USMNT shouldn’t panic yetthey will need more from the team between now and making the trip to Qatar to ensure they make it to the knockout stage.

But for Iran, their stock is rising after a rocky summer. The next step for Iran is another rigorous test against Senegal.