The Netherlands became the first team to
reach the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with their 3-1 win over the
USA in the round of 16 at the Khalifa International Stadium. Denzel Dumfries
played a starring role for the Dutch, setting up two first-half goals for
Memphis Depay and Daley Blind before getting on the scoresheet himself to wrap
up the victory.
The USA pulled one goal back in the second
half through Haji Wright to liven up the contest. However, the second-youngest
side in the tournament lacked the experience and quality in the final third to
trouble the Netherlands, eventually succumbing to a convincing defeat.
Gregg Berhalter’s side tested the
Netherlands early on, with Christian Pulisic forcing an early save from Andries
Noppert. But it was the Dutch who took the lead on ten minutes after a superb
team goal. Louis van Gaal’s side converted defence into attack within a matter
of moments, and Memphis Depay calmly converted Denzel Dumfries’ cross to score
his 43rd goal for his country.
Dumfries was involved in the Netherlands’
second goal as well, finding more space down the right wing before laying a
similar cross for the oncoming Daley Blind. The Ajax defender fired home to
score his first international goal in eight years to double the lead on the
stroke of half-time.
Matt Turner kept the United States in the
contest with a string of important interventions, including an incredible
double save to deny Teun Koopmeiner and Memphis Depay. The Americans also
almost pulled one goal back after the Barcelona forward’s errant back pass
played through US striker Haji Wright, but Denzel Dumfries was alert at the
back post and his goal-line clearance kept the score at 2-0.
However, moments later, the USA did find
the back of the net in bizarre circumstances. Christian Pulisic’s cross
ricocheted off the foot of Haji Wright and looped over the Dutch defence and
into the back of the net to set up a grandstand finish.
USA’s hope, though, was short-lived. Just
five minutes after Wright’s goal, Denzel Dumfries found the back of the net to
put the game to bed. The wing-back got on the end of Daley Blind’s cross and
volleyed home with his right foot to become the first player at this World Cup
to be involved in three goals in a single game.
Following this result, the Netherlands head
to their seventh quarter-finals at a FIFA World Cup and will be facing
Argentina, the team who knocked them out in the semi-finals in 2014 in