American soccer star Christian Pulisic was sent to the hospital after colliding with the goalkeeper while scoring the game-winning goal Tuesday, the Daily Wire reported. It was the only one in the 1-0 World Cup match against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Pulisic, who plays forward, sustained an abdominal injury during the play. He was taken in for scans but was optimistic about his prognosis.
In a photograph shared by ESPN, Pulisic shared that he was "proud" of his teammates. "I'll be ready Saturday, don't worry," he assured them.
After the play, Pulisic was on the ground for several minutes. He left the field to be evaluated by the trainers and returned to finish out the first half of the game.
However, after halftime, teammate Brenden Aaronson subbed for Pulisic. It was later it was confirmed he had been taken to the hospital and was diagnosed with a pelvic contusion.
Thanks to Pulisic's goal, the U.S. was able to advance in the World Cup into the knockout rounds. "Obviously, we're very thankful that he threw his body there," teammate Weston McKennie said.
"At the end, it was a heart-drop sinking moment, but we got it done and we're excited to still be here," he added. The team's coach, Gregg Berhalter, also spoke highly of Pulisic's performance.
"We got to speak to him, and he's in good spirits," Berhalter said at a news conference. The team was able to video chat with Pulisic after the game.
"That's what he does, that's the special quality he has, and as soon as a goal is wide, he goes in with intensity," Berhalter said of the injured player. "He crashes the box and makes it really difficult for defenders with his change of pace."
"It's a wonderful thing when one of your best players is also one of the most hard-working," Berhalter said. "He's certainly that. I can't say enough positive things about Christian."
The positive outcome for the U.S. team has been overshadowed by the controversy over the selection of the host country Qatar. In addition to an awful track record of human rights abuses, it was reported that as many as 500 migrants died while readying the country for the World Cup.
This information came from the secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Hassan al-Thawadi. "The estimate is around 400, between 400 and 500," he told Piers Morgan in an interview when asked about the number of suspected deaths during preparations.
"I don't have the exact number. That's something that's been discussed," al-Thawadi said. "One death is a death too many. Plain and simple," he later said.
Sporting events are supposed to be a diversion from the serious issues of the day. However, a nation with such a terrible track record hosting such an event can easily overshadow even the most inspiring stories from the field.