Dutch masters into World Cup quarter-finals as USA downed
Netherlands ended the United States' World Cup dream on Saturday, sweeping into
the quarter-finals with a ruthless 3-1 victory.
goals from Memphis Depay and Daley Blind and a late strike from Denzel Dumfries
sealed a deserved victory as the Dutch handed out a painful lesson in finishing
to their American opponents.
Netherlands, bidding to win their first World Cup after losing in three
previous finals, will face Argentina or Australia in the last eight.
coach Louis van Gaal's men were worthy victors in Saturday's last-16 clash at
the Khalifa International Stadium.
USA enjoyed long periods of possession in a bright first-half display, all too
often a lack of composure in the final third let them down.
was the Dutch who calmly bided their time before carving open the Americans
with forensic precision.
Christian Pulisic squandered a golden chance to put his team 1-0 up after only
three minutes, when he found himself in space only to see a scuffed shot saved
by Andries Noppert.
that early chance, the US remained on the front foot, attacking high up the
But on 10
minutes the Netherlands took the lead. Superb interplay in midfield saw the
ball worked to Inter Milan's Dumfries down the right.
picked out Depay, who swept home the finish to cap a majestic 20-pass move that
was in the best traditions of the Netherlands' total footballing heritage.
Americans advanced purposefully into Dutch territory through Pulisic, only for
the Chelsea player to deliver a cross that fell behind his US team-mates.
Tim Weah had
the best American chance of the remainder of the half on 43 minutes, letting
fly with a rasping shot that Noppert parried away.
But in first
half stoppage time, the Netherlands delivered the hammer blow.
again found space down the right and drilled a cross to Blind, who had ghosted
clear of Sergino Dest, for an emphatic low finish.
Netherlands nearly extended their lead early in the second half when Dumfries'
low cross was prodded towards the US goal by defender Walker Zimmerman, forcing
a smart save from Matt Turner.
Gregg Berhalter introduced Gio Reyna for the ineffective Jesus Ferreira in
attack at half-time in an effort to provide a sharper cutting edge.
Dortmund player made an instant impression after setting up a shot for Weston
McKennie that sailed over the bar.
brought on Haji Wright for McKennie midway through the second half and the move
sparked a fleeting revival.
a goal-bound chance cleared at the near post on 75 minutes, Wright scored a
minute later when his flick from Pulisic's cross looped over Noppert into the
Dutch net for 2-1.
American fightback was shortlived. In the 81st minute another Dutch attack pulled
the USA defence out of position, and Blind calmly crossed to an unmarked
Dumfries at the far post, who made it 3-1.
No comments yet.