Party in Orange. It was the first quarter-final match for the Netherlands against the USA at the World Cup. Especially the opening goal at 3-1 was brilliant. Denzel Dumfries was crowned the unexpected key man with two assists and a rescue goal. Will Messi’s Argentina wait for Louis van Gaal and Link?
The Netherlands – America for short
- Key moment: Moments later, Pulisic collides with Noppert from close range. An American lead could have given the game a completely different look and forced the Dutch to show a completely different face.
- Man of the Match: With two assists and a free 3-1, Denzel Dumfries can’t be overlooked. The right-back scored three goals in a World Cup campaign, and Johan Cruyff and Rob Rensenbrink did it for him in the Netherlands. Not bad company.
- Notable: Excluding penalty shootouts, Louis van Gaal is still unbeaten as a manager in eleven World Cup games. The longest streak without defeat belongs to Felipe Scolari. In his thirteenth match with Brazil, he lost 7–1 against Germany.
The Netherlands scares America
The USA impressed in the group stage with their dynamic football and started strongly against a somewhat sleepy Netherlands. Pulisic appeared early in front of Norbert, who unleashed a fine leg sweep.
The Dutch responded in the tenth minute with a brilliantly played goal. Kakpo sent on Dumfries and he gave Memphis a 1-0 chance. Immediately the lock was knocked. Like a boa constrictor, the Netherlands squeezed all life out of the competition. The Americans did not dare press hard for fear of being hurt.
Weah breathed life into a comatose first half with a tough tackle on Nobert. However, the goal fell again on the other side. Dumfries provided a copy of his assist to make it 1-0. This time he was allowed to finish blind.
Dumfries Orange qualified
The second half began with an American attack. Unfortunately for Reim, the ball landed on his knee, and Pulisic shot past Nobert as McKenney shot. In between, Zimmerman almost outdid his goalkeeper.
Gradually, the Netherlands gained complete control over the tournament. “The result was a masterclass in football”, Steph Wijnants called the Orange’s clinical performance. But in football you should always expect the unexpected. For example, Wright, a very limited substitute, made it 2-1 with Noppert making it 2-1 with a fortuitous brilliant touch of the ball. The Americans were suddenly bursting with energy again.
Fortunately for our northern neighbours, Dumfries was still there. Completely oblivious to the far post, he completely removed the doubt with 3-1. The Netherlands are no longer in trouble, and Argentina-Australia will win the quarter-finals.
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