Classy Netherlands knocks USA out of World Cup at last 16 stage
The USA were knocked out of the World Cup by the Netherlands in the last 16 as the young Americans were taught a lesson in clinical finishing.
Christian Pulisic missed a glorious chance early on and the Netherlands then surged ahead thanks to two flowing moves as Memphis Depay finished off a lovely 20-pass sequence and then Daley Blind scored almost a carbon copy to make it 2-0 right on half time.
Haji Wright made it 2-1 with 15 minutes to go but the Netherlands wrapped up the win moments later as the brilliant Denzel Dumfries finished off superbly for Louis van Gaal’s free-flowing and resolute side.
The Netherlands will now face the winner of Argentina and Australia in the quarterfinals, while the USA will head home with their heads held high and valuable tournament experience in their back pocket.
Future is bright but USA have to make the most of it
There is no shame in losing to this Dutch side. They have class throughout their team and the likes of Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong, Virgil van Dijk and the excellent wing backs (Dumfries and Blind) were at ease in the last 16. This young U.S. side, the youngest side in the last 16, looked uneasy throughout and were sloppy on the ball and just couldn’t take their big chances. Christian Pulisic missed a huge chance early on and the Dutch took theirs. Their game plan was then to sit back and pick off the USA and that is what they did. The Netherlands’ experience and class shone through but this game, and this tournament, had plenty of positives for the USA.
They are a clinical striker away from making a deep run in 2026 and this young side will likely see seven or eight of the same starters on home soil as they had in Qatar. Whether or not Gregg Berhalter is the boss for this side is a discussion for another day (would a more attacking setup have made a difference? What about playing Reyna and Aaronson more? Should Haji Wright have started against the Dutch?) but this young core group of players can be added to carefully and the USA has to make the most of their 2022 experience and make one more step forward for 2026 so they can battle with the top 10 teams on the planet. They have to be more clinical and calm when their moment arrives. They exceeded expectations in Qatar but there’s still a feeling of what might have been. That’s a good thing. As long as you make the most of it next time around.
Stars of the show
Denzel Dumfries: Superb assist on the second goal and a fine finish for the third. Pushed forward often but also did his defensive work as he cleared off the line. What a display from the Inter Milan right wing-back.
Daley Blind: The other wing-back for the Netherlands had an incredible game as he scored and assist and kept Weah and Dest quiet down that flank. What a display from the veteran.
How to watch Netherlands vs USA live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 10am ET, Saturday Dec. 3
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Gio Reyna is on half time.
Massive opportunity for Pulisic! He should have scored.
Key storylines, players to watch closely
The Netherlands are the fourth-best team in ELO Ratings and eighth in FIFA’s oft-debated rankings, while the Yanks are ranked 20th by ELO and 16th by FIFA.
So the big storyline is whether the favorites’ role affects the Dutch at all, having had that label against Ecuador, Senegal, and Qatar, and whether the Yanks can effectively channel their underdog energy again as they did against England.
The huge question, of course, is whether Christian Pulisic is 100%, 75%, or less following the pelvic contusion suffered against Iran. While Tim Weah’s been very good and fullbacks Sergino Dest and Antonee Robinson splendid, Pulisic is no doubt the focus of defenders and the U.S. attack. It’s also worth watching whether Weston McKennie finally has a game-changing performance at this tournament, as the Juventus man has been getting back to full fitness all World Cup.
The Dutch have been thrilled by the performances of 23-year-old Cody Gakpo, who has scored in every game. The back line of Virgil vsn Dijk, Jurrien Timber, and Nathan Ake has been good, allowing just one goal, while Matthijs de Ligt started the first game in place of Timber and Stefan de Vrij looms on the bench. With Frenkie de Jong in the center of the park, this Dutch team is very strong even if it isn’t vintage Holland.
Netherlands vs USA all-time
The USMNT scored a memorable win over the Dutch in 2015 under Jurgen Klinsmann, trailing 1-0 and 3-1 before winning 4-3 with goals from Danny Williams and Bobby Wood in the 89th and 90th minutes to get the win. Gyasi Zardes and John Brooks also scored in the game.
The Dutch had won all four meetings before that and all five games were friendlies occurring between 1998 and 2015.
Netherlands vs USA, World Cup history
The Dutch have never faced the USA at a World Cup, and the home of Johan Cruyff certainly has a more illustrious tournament history.
The Netherlands, like the USMNT, missed the 2018 tournament. That absence came after finishing in third place in 2014 and losing the 2010 final to Spain. They’ve lost three finals in total, two in the mid 1970s, and haven’t lost a World Cup game outside of penalties since that 1-0 loss to Spain in 2010.
The USMNT’s best tournament finish concluded with the controversial loss to Germany in the 2002 quarterfinals, but the Yanks have now reached the knockout rounds the last three times they participated in the World Cup. They’ve only won a knockout round match in 2002.
Netherlands quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 8
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 10
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group G)
Coach: Louis van Gaal
Key players: Virgil van Dijk, Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong, Cody Gakpo
USA quick facts
Current FIFA world ranking: 16
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 9
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (3rd place)
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Key players: Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Weston McKennie