The Flying Dutchmen leaves USA seeing stars

Gabbie Odonkor
Gabbie Odonkor  - Chief Executive Officer 509 Views
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The Netherlands became the first team to reach the FIFA World Cup (FWC) quarter-finals, defeating the United States of America 3-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium, extending their impressive unbeaten run to 19 matches.

In the first-ever competitive H2H between the two countries, Christian Pulisic saw an early strike blocked by Andries Noppert’s outstretched leg. Despite their promising start, the Americans were stunned in the 10th minute by a brilliant Dutch move that culminated in Denzel Dumfries’ pull-back being clinically swept into the bottom corner by Memphis Depay to open the scoring for the Oranje.

Having never won the FWC after conceding the opening USA knew the importance of a positive response (D5, L18), but the Netherlands looked the more dangerous of the two sides, as Daley Blind and Depay both wasted good chances. The Dutch pressure grew and eventually paid off on the stroke of HT, when Blind confidently slotted home another pinpoint delivery from Dumfries to double the Netherlands’ advantage.

The USA came out eager to get a foothold in the game, but Pulisic’s strike was comfortably held by Noppert, and Weston McKennie blazed a long-range effort wastefully over the bar. With a two-goal deficit to overcome, the Stars and Stripes continued to push forward and were rewarded in the 76th minute, when Haji scored.

Wright set up a tense final 15 minutes with a fortunate finish over Noppert and awkwardly into the net.

Unaffected by the United States’ response, the Dutch quickly restored their two-goal lead, with the influential Dumfries volleying home from Blind’s cross to allay any growing tension among the vocal Oranje supporters. Despite the best efforts of a spirited USA attack in the final five minutes, the Netherlands rearguard held firm, securing their place in the quarter-finals, where they will face the winner of the Argentina-Australia match.

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By Gabbie Odonkor Chief Executive Officer
Gabriel Djabatey Odonkor , known professionally as Gabbie Odonkor, is a Ghanaian Sports blogger, freelance journalist, and reporter. He founded, a sports website and blog that primarily publishes news about sports.