Tim Weah: “I always say it’s us against the world because no one believes that the U.S. can play good football,” (Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports)

By Michael Lewis

FrontRowSoccer.com Editor

You don’t always need to play beautiful soccer to win a game.

Just ask the U.S. men’s national team.

The Americans played a beautiful game in the first half before showing a lot of grit and determination to escape  Al Thumama Stadium with a 1-0 victory over Iran to advance to the World Cup knockout round in Qatar.

“We showed what we can do soccer-wise,” USA head coach Gregg Berhalter told FOX afterwards. “Really good first half, second half, showed we can do determination-wise. The guys grinded. They gave every single ounce of energy. And we’re undefeated going into the next round.”

That is correct.

The USA finished second to England in Group B with a 1-0-2 mark and five points entering Saturday’s Round of 16 encounter with Group A champion the Netherlands.

“I always say it’s us against the world because no one believes that the U.S. can play good football,” forward Tim Weah said on FOX. “We’re just here trying to show the world. It’s no better than to do with the people who [we] love, our families in the in the stands. We do it for them. I’m just really happy that we’re through to the next round. It’s a beautiful day. It’s definitely a beautiful, beautiful day.”

Weah wasn’t finished.

“We worked so hard as a group to be in these types of positions,” he added. “We played a beautiful game. Thanks to Christian, he put it away and then got hurt in the process, but we love him, and we thank him. We’re through [to the knockout round]. It’s a great feeling.”

Christian Pulisic suffered an injury while scoring the lone goal of the match in the 38th minute.

Midfielder Weston McKennie felt closeness of team certainly helped the team survive the second half.

“We’re brothers, we’re brothers,” he told FOX. “We love this type of stuff. We love the pressure. We love the excitement because we’re a young team. We have our own swagger. We have our own style. We have our own way of that we play, the way that we connect with each other. We did it today at the end. It was a bit a heart drop sinking moment, but we got it done. We’re excited to still be here.”