The Netherlands faced the United States in the first round of the 16-match quarter-finals.
Louis van Gaal scored 11 unchanged from the 2-0 win over Qatar. There, among others, Barcelona superstar Memphis Depay gets a chance right from the start and forms an attacking pair with hit man Cody Gakpo.
In the United States, the injured Josh Sargent was missing, and Jesus Ferreira replaced him at the top.
After barely three minutes into play, Christian Pulisic had a great chance when he was freed from close range by Andres Noppert. The American finished on the left flank, but the Dutch goalkeeper made a great save.
Soon after, the Netherlands launched their first organized attack and Memphis Depay ended up receiving the ball after a pass from Denzel Dumfries and Depay’s cross at the end.
James Dacre of The Telegraph praised Holland after the lead:
He wrote on Twitter, “There was a lot of criticism of the way the Netherlands play, but this is a wonderful goal.”
Sky Sports’ Soccer Sunday’s Paul Merson has taken it a step further.
– What a goal. He says one of the goals of the tournament in my opinion.
Just before the break the Netherlands increased their lead and it was Denzel Dumfries again with attacking play, the pass finding its way diagonally inside to Daley Blind who made it 2-0.
– It’s like a copy of the first goal and what a time to score, says Sky Sports’ Peter Smith.
– Fantastically played by Dumfries, and now it’s game over, adds Paul Merson.
Greg Berhalter, stepped in in the first half to replace Giovanni Reyna and the USA came out strong in the second half.
With a quarter of an hour remaining, the USA were presented with a chance when El Hadji Wright came out with Andres Nobert after a poor home run, the first American touch was very poor and he came from a corner, but only seconds later. He will take revenge.
Christian Pulisic played the ball low in the box and El Hadji Wright was the first to reach it and in a strange arc the ball found its way into the far corner.
Shortly thereafter, the big man of the game would score as well, after double assists Denzel Dumfries made it 3-1 with about ten minutes left to play.
– He’s the man of the match, Denzel Dumfries is there again. After two assists, it’s back up again, says the BBC’s Martin Keown.
Sky Sports correspondent Peter Smith agrees with Keon:
“He is the man of the match, how good is he? A goal and two assists, what an effort,” he wrote.
Thus, the Netherlands won 3-1 and is ready for the quarter-finals.
The Netherlands will face the winner between Argentina and Australia, a match to be played later tonight.
The captain of the United States, Greg Berhalter, was proud of his team after the game, but also disappointed with the outcome.
– It’s hard to deal with this, this is a great group of players, but today it was not enough, he said in an interview on SVT broadcast:
Very proud, it’s special to see how this group of players have come together over the past three years, but I’m also very disappointed with the outcome.
Memphis Depay was very happy after the match.
It’s good to come back and score goals, that’s what I’ve been doing for the longest time. It’s special to be able to do that against the United States, and it’s nice to show how we do that,” he said after the match.
Holland: Neubert – Timber, Van Dijk, Ake – Dumfries, De Roon, De Jonge, Blind – Classen – Gakbo, Depay
United States of America: Turner – Dest, Zimmermann, Ream, Robinson – McKinney, Adams, Moses – Weah, Ferreira, Pulisic
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