Denzel Dumfries starred as the Netherlands saw off a spirited second half from USA to win their last-16 tie 3-1 and book their place in the quarter finals of the World Cup.
First-half goals from Memphis Depay (10) and Daley Blind (45+1), swept home in similar fashion from Dumfries crosses, put the Dutch in control but USA forced both the Inter Milan defender and Cody Gakpo to clear off the line before Haji Wright produced an “impossible” 76th-minute finish to set up a big finale.
Standout performer Dumfries ended their hopes of a dramatic turnaround, though, volleying in Blind’s cross in the 83rd minute to secure the victory.
USA had been boosted by Christian Pulisic being passed fit to play but the Chelsea forward wasted a glorious opening just three minutes in, shooting at Andries Noppert when clean through.
From then on, the Netherlands soaked up pressure well through the first half and repeatedly threatened on the counter-attack – an effective tactical ploy from Dutch boss Louis van Gaal, who is now unbeaten in all 11 of his World Cup matches in charge.
USA opened the game up after the break but came out on the wrong end of the chaos. Their youthful side will have to take their learnings from Qatar into the 2026 World Cup, when they will be joint-hosts.
As for the Netherlands – into the last eight for the fifth time in their last six World Cups – they will now turn their attentions to facing the winner of Argentina vs Australia at the Lusail Iconic Stadium at 7pm on Friday December 9.
More to follow…