Oranje first team in the quarterfinals

Van Gaal’s team flies with goals from Depay, Blind and Dumfries. Wright is not enough for the Americans. In the quarterfinals he will find Messi’s Argentina

The Netherlands beat the USA 3-1 to become the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of Qatar 2022. Van Gaal’s boys will deal with Messi’s Argentina, who beat Australia 2-1. The great protagonist of the Dutch victory was Inter Denzel Dumfrieswho in the 10th minute serves the assist to make it 1-0 a Depaythen it’s repeated in the 46th minute with Blind and in the 81st minute he secures qualification with a nice left-footed volley. Momentary 1-2 of Wrightwho hits the ball badly and mocks Noppert.

THE MATCH
The Netherlands respects the forecast, beats the USA and qualifies for the quarter-finals: the winner of Argentina-Australia next Friday. The Inter player Dumfries is on the shields, author of a monstrous game: his two assists for goals from Depay and Blind in the first half, his incredible save on the line from Wright and finally his goal to make it 3-1 which he avoided his a final match that looked really hot. Van Gaal pampers him, but Simone Inzaghi also enjoys, who has finally seen the Dumfries of the best days after a subdued start to the World Cup. Gakpo goes dry after three goals in the first three days, but in the Dutch home they can celebrate the return to goals from Depay, the undisputed starting striker of this team. The Dutch coach has reason to smile because his boys seemed to be growing after a group stage with more shadows than lights in terms of play. The USA, on the other hand, got off to a good start but paid for the lack of incisiveness in the goal area. Wright’s gollonzo reopened the match but only for 5′. However, Berhalter has a very young team and can look forward to the home World Cup scheduled for 2026 with optimism together with Canada and Mexico.

Van Gaal confirms the 11 who beat Qatar en bloc: still bench for De Ligt, Klaassen behind the Gakpo-Depay couple. Two changes in the USA: Zimmerman returns to central defense alongside Ream, Ferreira’s debut attack in place of the injured Sargent. Berhalter’s team started courageously, went on to play and after less than 3′ they had the great opportunity to take the lead, with Noppert blocking Pulisic’s left foot kept in play by Blind. Holland are very cautious, they leave the ball to their opponents and try to play on the counterattack. At the first restart, the Oranjes unlocked it: Gakpo opens for Dumfries, the Inter full-back for the onrushing Depay, right to cross and Turner beaten. The goal conceded takes away the glaze and injects uncertainty into the United States, the pace slows down and the match takes the most favorable turn for Van Dijk and his companions. In the 18th minute Gakpo serves Blind and a very high left footed shot. Three minutes later Ream misses the intervention, diagonal right foot from Depay wide. Ball possession is in favor of the USA, but it is completely sterile. Apart from Pulisic, the only one who feels something is Robinson, too little to worry the Dutch defense. Weah gives signs of awakening in the final, but Noppert rejects his blow from outside the area (43′). After a good initiative by Dest, stopped at the climax once he entered the area, Holland doubled their lead in the first and only minute of added time: again Dumfries in assistman version puts Blind in the center of the area who is not wrong this time. A goal practically a photocopy of Depay’s.

Berhalter leaves the inconclusive Ferreira in the locker room and inserts Reyna. Two changes also for Van Gaal: De Roon (physical problem) and Klaassen give way to Koopmeiners and Bergwijn. The start of the second half is US-branded, with Gakpo saving a dirty shot from Ream on the line. The teams lengthen and the chances flock: in the 50th minute Turner saves instinctively on Zimmerman’s own goal attempt who anticipates Depay and almost mocks his own goalkeeper. After a couple of unrealistic shots from Pulisic and McKennie, the US goalkeeper raises Depay’s right foot over the crossbar. Arsenal’s second goalkeeper is still the protagonist, when he says no to Koopmeiners and then to Depay’s diving header who is however offside (71′). The Barça striker nearly combined the omelette in the 75th minute, when he missed the back pass and served Wright, a providential save from Dumfries on the line. It is the classic alarm bell for Oranje and the USA reopen the match a minute later: Pulisic for Wright, who hits badly but the ball gets up and mocks Noppert. The Americans believe it, but the illusion of a comeback lasts only 5′: Blind at the far post for Dumfries, a left-footed volley that beats Turner (81′). It is the classic knockout blow, because the USA are no longer able to react. Holland goes to the quarterfinals with great merit.

THE TABLE
NETHERLANDS-USA 3-1
Netherlands (3-4-1-2)
: Noppert 6.5; Timber 6, Van Dijk 7, Ake 6 (48′ st De Ligt sv); Dumfries 8, De Roon 6 (1′ st Koopmeiners 6), F. De Jong 6, Blind 7; Klaassen 5.5 (1′ st Bergwijn 6); Gakpo 6 (48′ st Weghorst sv), Depay 6.5 (37′ st Simons sv). Available: Pasveer, Bijlow, De Vrij, Taylor, Berghuis, L. De Jong, Lang, Malacia, Janssen, Frimpong. all.: Van Gaal 7
Use (4-3-3):Turner 6.5; Dest 5.5 (30′ st Yedlin sv), Zimmerman 5.5, Ream 6, Robinson 5.5 (47′ st Morris sv); Adams 5.5, Musah 6, McKennie 5.5 (22′ St Wright 6.5); Weah 5 (22′ st Aaronson 5.5), Ferreira 4.5 (1′ st Reyna 5.5), Pulisic 6.5. Available: Horvath, Johnson, Dela Torre, Long, Roldan, Morre, Carter-Vickers, Perry-Acosta, Scally. all.: Berhalter 6
Referee: Sampaio (Brazil)
Markers: 10′ Depay (W), 46′ Blind (W), 31′ St Wright (U), 36′ St Dumfries (W)
Ammonite yourself: Koopmeiners (O), F. De Jong (O)
Expelled:-
Note: Recovery 1′ + 6′

THE STATISTICS
• The Netherlands have gone unbeaten in the last 22 matches in which they have scored the first goal of the match in the World Cup: the last defeat in the competition dates back to 11 June 1978 (2-3 v Scotland)).
• The United States have never won a World Cup match in which they conceded the first goal of the match (5 draws and 18 defeats out of 23 previously).
• The United States have allowed three goals in a single World Cup knockout match for the first time since 1934 (1-7 v Italy).
• With his goal and two assists today Denzel Dumfries became only the third Netherlands player to be involved in three or more goals in a single World Cup match, after Johann Crujiff (1974) and Rob Resenbrink (1978) .
• Since the 2021 European Championships, no defender has been involved in more goals than Denzel Dumfries (five, including three goals and two assists) in all major international tournaments.
• Memphis Depay scored his 43rd goal for the Netherlands, leapfrogging Klaas Jan Huntelaar (42) into second place in the rankings of the most prolific Dutch international players, behind only Robin Van Persie (50).
• Memphis Depay has been involved in 34 goals in his last 30 appearances for the Netherlands (24 goals, 10 assists).
• Daley Blind is the second oldest Dutch player (32 years and 269 days) to score in a World Cup after Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who scored against Uruguay in 2010 aged 35 years and 151 days.
• Christian Pulisic is the second player to have contributed three goals (one goal and two assists) for the United States in a single World Cup since 1966, the other to do so is Landon Donovan (three goals in 2010).
• Depay’s goal brought the number of goals scored by Barcelona players in this World Cup to seven, more than any other club represented in the competition.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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