Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic put his body on the line to score the USA’s vital winning goal against Iran on Tuesday.

The Blues star initially showcased his positional nous and acceleration to get ahead of the Iranian defence and convert Sergio Dest’s headed cross from six yards out, netting his first World Cup goal in the process.

Pulisic’s momentum carried him into Iran’s keeper Alireza Beyranvand, with the nasty collision that followed eventually forcing the winger off. He had tried to play through the pain but didn’t emerge for the second half as the USA successfully defended their 1-0 lead to book their place in the last-16 of the World Cup. They will meet Netherlands on Saturday.

Berhalter confirmed after the game Pulisic was taken to a local hospital in Qatar as a precaution after experiencing some dizziness. The US head coach wouldn’t speculate on his availability for Saturday’s knockout game, but he did highlight Pulisic’s commitment to the American cause.

‘I’ve been saying all along it’s a wonderful thing when one of your best players is also one of the hardest working,' said the head coach. 'He’s certainly that.

‘I can’t say enough positive things about Christian.’

Pulisic’s US team-mate Weston McKennie, who initiated the move from which the winner stemmed with a raking long ball, also heaped praise on the matchwinner.

‘We’re very thankful he threw his body there,’ said McKennie.

‘The thing is, we have 25 guys outside of Christian who would do the same thing. We know what we want to do, what we want to accomplish. Everybody is ready to give everything.

‘It’s unfortunate he had to come out because of it, but if you see the stature Christian has, and he is throwing his body on the line, that should tell you what this team means.’