Netherlands 3-1 USA
The Netherlands became the first country into the World Cup quarter-finals as they beat the United States 3-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday.
A 10th-minute effort by Memphis Depay and another from Daley Blind with the last kick of the first half paved the way for the Dutch to set up a last-eight clash with either Argentina or Australia, who are playing later.
Substitute Haji Wright scrambled in a reply for the United States in the 76th minute to give the Americans hope but Denzel Dumfries’s volley sealed a seventh quarter-final appearance for the Dutch.
Louis van Gaal’s Dutch side grabbed the lead with their first attack when a slick move ended with Dumfries cutting a perfect pass back for Barcelona forward Depay to stroke home.
Dumfries then played a carbon copy ball for Blind to make it 2-0 and put his side in cruise control.
Wright bundled home from a Christian Pulisic cross but Dumfries crowned a great display to finish off the Americans.
The Dutch were unsually cautious at times, played at a slow tempo, and lived dangerously as they allowed the USA plenty of possession.
Yet they still looked a notch better than their opponents.
Cody Gakpo and Dumfries cleared off the line in the second half and goalkeeper Andries Noppert made several saves to keep a clean sheet as the Netherlands extended their unbeaten run since Louis van Gaal returned as coach last year to 19 games.
They survived an early scare when Christian Pulisic found himself free, and onside, with just the goalkeeper to beat but Noppert, the tallest man at the World Cup, stuck out his right leg to deny a shock opener.
The response from the Netherlands was swift. A series of 20 slick passes ended with Dumfries squaring the ball from right, pulling it back into the path of Depay, who delayed his run into the American penalty box and was unmarked as he smacked home the opener.
The lively start was quickly replaced with a more languid passage of play, the Dutch sitting back as they waited for counter-attack chances.
That presented opportunity for the Americans with Noppert forced to save again from Timothy Weah’s driving shot and Sergio Dest breaking through the defence but unable to get the ball out from under his feet and missing a good opportunity near the end of the first half.
Those missed opportunities were swiftly punished as Dutch broke again down the right and scored a carbon copy of the first goal when Dumfries pulled back his cross for 32-year-old left back Daley Blind to score in his 98th international.
Depay broke away after the break and looked odds-on to provide substitute Steven Bergwijn with the chance to make it 3-0 but played in a poor pass, followed by an American raid up the other end where Gakpo denied Tim Ream from close range.
Dumfries was in the right place to deny Wright in the 75th minute but could do little about the American goal as Pulisic’s cross hit Wright on the heel and the ball looped into the net.
But in the end Dumfries proved decisive for the Dutch to move on to their next challenge against either Argentina or Australia in the last eight next Friday.
Man of the match: Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands)
Teun Koopmeiners replaces Davy Klaassen 46 mins
- Steven Bergwijn replaces Marten De Roon 46 mins
- Xavi Simons replaces Memphis Depay 82 mins
- Matthijs De Ligt replaces Nathan Ake 90′ mins
- Wout Weghorst replaces Cody Gakpo 90′ mins
- Giovanni Reyna replaces Jesus Ferreira 46 mins
- Brenden Aaronson replaces Timothy Weah 67 mins
- Haji Wright replaces Weston McKennie 67 mins
- DeAndre Yedlin replaces Sergino Dest 76 mins
- Jordan Morris replaces Antonee Robinson 90′ mins
Netherlands -Teun Koopmeiners, Frenkie De Jong
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)