USA coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed on Thursday that forward Christian Pulisic is a doubt for his country’s last-16 clash with the Netherlands in the FIFA World Cup on Saturday.
The Chelsea player, who netted the winning goal against Iran to book the USA’s place in the knockout stage of the World Cup, suffered a pelvic injury in the game and his condition is being monitored ahead of the match.
Berhalter admitted the Americans will be underdogs in the match against the Dutch, but he insisted that would only serve as greater motivation.
“It’s a great opportunity, but we are going into it thinking it is an honour,” said the coach, who believes his players have worked to get where they are now.
“We deserve to be in the position we’re in. And we want to keep going. We don’t want to be going home on Saturday,” he insisted.
Head coach Louis Van Gaal of the Netherlands also spoke to the media and said that he too is expecting a tough game, reports Xinhua.
“I know from experience that matches against countries such as the United States and Australia, are always very difficult. They are very persistent and sharp on the ball,” he said, in reference to the USA’s non-stop pressure on opposing teams.
Meanwhile, striker Memphis Depay continues his recovery from injury, after playing an increased number of minutes in each of the three group games, starting against Qatar in the last group match.
The FC Barcelona player assured the press that he was “fit” and in perfect condition to start against the USA.