Soccer

Netherlands 3-1 USA: World Cup 2022, last 16 – as it happened


Match report

“If this is boring football then Louis van Gaal will be demanding more of it,” writes Andy Hunter.

Hard to argue with that. Here’s his report from the scene.

And you’d have to say Dumfries was the man of the match.

So that’s it for me here. Thank you, thank you, thank you for following along here today and for the rest of the Cup.

And enjoy curling season.

Key events

The latest:

Match report

“If this is boring football then Louis van Gaal will be demanding more of it,” writes Andy Hunter.

Hard to argue with that. Here’s his report from the scene.

And you’d have to say Dumfries was the man of the match.

So that’s it for me here. Thank you, thank you, thank you for following along here today and for the rest of the Cup.

And enjoy curling season.

Alexander Cattermole is hopping mad: “Pulisic’s set pieces created more opportunities for the Dutch than America. The insistence on using him on them should be grounds for a congressional investigation. MMA are flat track bullies who can dominate concacaf minnows but shrink when up against their supposed equals.”

David Konopka: “Peter M has a strange memory with regards to the Bradley’s. Bob last managed the US in 2011, when Michael was…about 24 years old.”

Funny story: A US women’s player whose NWSL team nearly brought in her father as an assistant insisted that such a situation was just fine because it worked for the Bradleys. Some fans would disagree.

Daniel Strauss: “Can we finally get rid of this jumped up MLS coach and get a real national team manager, please?”

Richard Byrne: “Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin in.”

I’ll let you two sort it out.

How about Jesse Marsch?

Matt Turner says Berhalter said sometimes the game can be unfair. But he mentions that it’s a result of what happened in both boxes.

“We conceded a third goal late, and that kind of took the steam out.”

And it wasn’t their best defensive performance. “We were allowing balls into the box and not tracking runners. … It was a tough night overall defensively.”

Can you reflect on the positive moments, Fox’s Jenny Taft asks. Not really. Not right now. The locker room is disappointed. (Well, the people in the locker room are disappointed.)

And though it sounds negative, I think a lot of US fans will like that response. No reason they should be satisfied with this run. A lot of positives here, but it seems like these players aren’t going to be complacent. Good for them.

A couple of readers take issue with Berhalter:

Richard in Dallas: “I’m feeling bad for the USA – but this was no time to have defensive let downs….. What next for coach 3G? I feel good for LVG, though. He’s a soccer weirdo, but, then, so aren’t we on this MBM thread?”

Peter Oh: “I don’t know the answer to your Fanta Orange question but based on what I saw in the last 90 minutes, a glass of Orange Crush has just been served up.”

I should point out, that even though I’ve objected to some responses, that 90% of the email here has been wonderful, insightful and witty, as expected from readers of The Guardian.

Tyler Adams takes the softball questions: “A game like that, it comes down to the margins. A team like that, you give them 3-4 chances, they’re going to put them away. … We’re moving in the right direction, but we need to keep pushing.”

“We still need to develop individually to be more mature players … a more experienced team got the better of us.”

Big mistake today, but the captain has shown remarkable class in this tournament.

Another comment from Liisa Sletzinger: “Fox commentators just said that the Netherlands has a date with Argentina. Actually, Argentina need to win their next match first. Sigh.”

In this Cup, you can’t rule anything out!

Liisa Sletzinger was not impressed with Reyna and anyone else trying to dribble through three defenders. In fairness, the Dutch defense did a nice job clogging the passing lanes like their impressive engineering feats that keep the North Sea at bay.

Dan Waters: “Fanta in USA is made with high fructose corn syrup. In Europe it’s plain old sugar.” Yes, and it’s a huge difference.

Joshua L J Ashbee: “Have to agree the Guardian sports blog has turned into a pro-USA parody of their normally fair mbm coverage.”

That’s only because I don’t speak Dutch.

But I’m not sure how much more credit I can give. The Netherlands finished their chances. Virgil played as expected. Noppert has wildly exceeded expectations.

Is it possible that some readers are simply anti-USA?

Gregg Berhalter hails the US effort. “Really proud. When you think about this group, how they’ve come together in the last three and a half years, you don’t often get a bond like that.”

I don’t think he’ll be asked about the three big defensive lapses and lack of incisive passes that accounted for the final score.

Julian Menz on the last Dutch goal: “Again, it’s down to naivety at the very top level. That was rank.”

Charles Holzhauer: “Hey, Why don’t you lay off this “soccer” obsession? I believe it was one of your own countrymen who observed that “a rose by any other name….” plus, isn’t you people who put mayonnaise on your “chips?” Good God….”

I do love fish and chips. And English candy is far superior to American candy. Maybe I should stop by Pure Pasty today …

But mayonnaise? Yeesh.

Kari Tulinius on the US goal: “Haji Wright totally meant this. Either way, what a gloriously absurd goal.”

Absolutely. Beautiful backwards touch with the outside of the boot. Of course.

Peter M takes a broad view: “I have thoroughly enjoyed their improvements (and undefeated record against England ;)), however, we have clear issues in our selection process. A lot of it, I believe, stems from marketability and for several years, we had a manager (Bob Bradley) who included his own son (Michael Bradley) in the selection for probably a few more years than he had been useful. The consequences of this tendency on our midfield cannot be understated. This year was definitely and improvement, but Having Gio Reyna ride pine, instead of play, is indefensible. The domestic league is improving – please – all nations, allow your washed up superstar to go so they can impart some in-game wisdom on our youth.”

Gareth Bale for the win.

And Yash Gupta responds: “Okay so credit department – USMNT had a very good World Cup. But they remind me of a team called Tottenham which I follow. They’re even wearing same kit. Shame for USMNT, this game is turning out like 2019 Champions League Final. That final was crap in quality but it felt so close at the same time. Italians can call Football whatever they want. Only moment of joy for them would’ve been Germany getting out in consecutive group stages but they themselves missed both entirely. Calcio!”

Fair enough.

Mary Waltz: “First of all, the US is not being humiliating. The Dutch might win but they will not be laughing at the end of this match and talking about how easy they had it. And the soccer controversy is so tired, played out, you are in a line of 10 million people who have been so proud of them selves for pointing out it should be called football. If you have a problem with soccer blame the people who coined the term, the brits.”

Matthew Schofield: “Try trotting out the national team in, iirc, ‘85, on artificial turf in St Louis and going up against a T&T side made up of part timers, and then losing, rather convincingly. This isn’t in the top 100 embarrassing moments in the US soccer history.”

The US men went, off the top of my head, 11 years without winning a game in the 50s and 60s.

Shots: USA 17-11. Shots on target: USA 8-6. Possession: USA 58-42. Total passes: USA 564-412.

You get the idea.

OK, let’s see what you wrote:

James Robinson: “I can’t allow Mr Gupta’s sentiments, and the extremely ungracious manner in which they were expressed, to pass unchallenged and I don’t believe they are widely shared. It’s good to see the USA at another finals and there’s certainly no shame in losing to an excellent Netherlands team (if that’s what happens).” (This was obviously earlier in the game.)

Richard McGahey on “soccer/football”: “Brits used to use “soccer” and “football” interchangeably, research shows they started emphasizing “football” exclusively when USA started taking the sport more seriously. Also see Matt Busby’s autobiography, “Soccer at the Top: My Life in Football” (real title).”

Matt Burtz adds: “I wonder if the same vitriol is expressed for Australia’s Socceroos, or is it merely saved for countries with populations over 330 million?”

Australia v Argentina later today.

Full time: Netherlands 3-1 USA

The final score is no reflection of how much terrific work the US did in this game.

It is, however, a reflection of the superior professional edge the Dutch have.

The US made, by my count, four mistakes in this game. The Netherlands scored three goals. You can’t call that unfair. You can call it unfortunate.

I’m going to try to race through the mailbag before signing off.

Denzel Dumfries of Netherlands celebrates after scoring the team’s third goal
Man of the match: Denzel Dumfries gives the photographers the shots they need Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Netherlands celebrates with his team mates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the FIFA World Cup Qata
Dutch delight: Netherlands through to the quarter finals. Photograph: James Williamson/AMA/Getty Images

90 +5 min: The Dutch defense is still holding, clearing every cross. They’re no longer sending more than one player forward to counter. It’s all defense now.

And as I say that, it’s 3v3 the other way.

90 +4 min: Cross to Morris, can’t control, ends up back to Musah for a shot from 18, blocked by Virgil!

Berhalter misplays the ball to Reyna. Yes, Berhalter. The coach tried to kick it back to him for a quick throw-in. That kind of day.

90 +3 min: Musah beats his man and crosses from the right side again. It’s cleared again.

Subs, with the Dutch jogging off slowly: Gakpo and Ake out. Weghorst and de Ligt in.

90 +2 min: Dutch subs warming up, but now it’s Pulisic on the run, cut back to Musah, dangerous cross to Morris headed clear. Zimmerman and Adams stop the Dutch counter.

90 +2 min: Morris on for Robinson. Forward for defender. Going for broke. I’m saying 4-1 final now.

Daley Blind of the Netherlands celebrates after scoring
Daley Blind of the Netherlands celebrates after scoring Photograph: Natacha Pisarenko/AP

90 min: Long attack for the Dutch, and the basic problem for the US is that the Netherlands can have a prolonged, dangerous attack with only three players while everyone else hangs back to surround Reyna and Pulisic.

We’ll play six more minutes. Surprised it’s not nine.

89 min: US wins possession. Musah crosses, headed clear. Reyna again is surrounded as if bathing in Fanta Orange.

Why is Fanta Orange so much better in Europe than in the US?

88 min: Reyna tries to find space. There is none. The Dutch go off to the races. The US recovers, Now, at last, the Dutch start possessing the ball.

87 min: Tactical foul by de Jong on Aaronson, duly punished with a yellow card.

Jordan Morris is about to come in. That’s not going to intimidate anyone.

86 min: The corner kick is nodded down and bounces slightly up, and Zimmerman tries the world’s clumsiest seated bicycle kick. Why not?

86 min: We’re getting some time-wasting now, so stoppage time will last an eon. I actually think a fourth Dutch goal is more likely than a second US goal, but I’ve been wrong many, many times in this Cup.

Pulisic with a wonderful ball forward to Wright, and Virgil has to be absolutely perfect to play it out for a corner.

85 min: Now the Dutch fans are dancing.

You could say this game has been unfortunate, that the US haven’t seen a just reward for their play in this game. But they’ve made mistakes, and the Dutch have punished them. Three times – all when the US was in the ascendancy.

GOAL! Netherlands 3-1 USA (Dumfries 81)

Oh, what a lapse. And a deserved goal for the superb Dumfries, who took advantage of Robinson’s wandering toward the middle. Blind sees him, crosses over everyone in the middle of the box, and Dumfries takes it well with his left foot. No chance for Turner.

That’s three extraordinarily costly mistakes for the US. And three superb finishes.

Yes, I’m using “superb” a lot. I’m running out of words.

Netherlands' Denzel Dumfries celebrates scoring their third goal
Netherlands’ Denzel Dumfries celebrates scoring their third goal Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

80 min: Corner kick for the US. They have not been dangerous on these, but the crowd roars. Can Pulisic get his third assist of the Cup? Nope – Noppert claims. The Dutch keeper has been superb, beaten only by a bizarre touch that looped over him.

78 min: CHANCE! Noppert was uncapped before this Cup, and he has saved the Netherlands several times now, this time with a sliding tackle far out of his box to take the ball from Wright, who was somehow left alone!

This has become insane.

Margriet Krijgsman: “Why are you so pro USA? I am a big donor of Guardian BECAUSE they report if not neutrally at least realistically, and fair at all times. Do you secretly work for USA Today? I am sick of your evident preference for the US. I would be equally throwing up if you were so blatantly kow towing to the Dutch.”

No, I worked for USA Today from 1999 to 2010.

But to reiterate – the Dutch have finished clinically. The US have not. Fair play to them.

And Noppert will surely earn a BIG payday after this.

77 min: Yedlin has replaced Dest. Might hurt the attack a bit, but ..

GOAL! Netherlands 2-1 USA (Wright 76)

Who needs clinical finishes? The US will take a weird looping touch off a great Pulisic cross that Wright somehow scuffs into the air and over everyone.

Game on? Game on!

Goal: Haji Wright of the U.S. scores
Goal: Haji Wright of the U.S. scores Photograph: Annegret Hilse/Reuters
Haji Wright of the U.S. scores their first goal.
Haji Wright of the U.S. scores their first goal. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

75 min: CHANCE on a rare blunder by the Netherlands! A backpass finds Haji Wright, who ends up one-on-one with Noppert. His touch goes wide, and his tight angle shot is cleared.

74 min: Reyna tries an off-balance shot and hits his head in the process.

Colum Fordham: “The USA have been lively and shown sparks of good football (or soccer) – I did like Weah Junior’s volley – but Netherlands have been been more clinical. As an Englishman who idolised Johan Cruyff, I admit to a certain bias in favour of the Dutch but the USA have played pretty well in this tournament. A young enthusuastic team playing decent soccer but being outplayed when it comes to football.”

Looks like the experienced DeAndre Yedlin will soon appear. Maybe Robinson just can’t continue?

72 min: DOUBLE SAVE from Turner, and while the flag went up shortly afterwards, who knows what VAR would’ve said. Turner parries a hard shot from Koopmeiners, then immediately scrambles to knock aside a headed follow-up from Memphis.

A few seconds later, he races out to collect a dangerous ball.

Hard to imagine anyone whose stock has improved more in this tournament than Turner, even if he hasn’t been the busiest of keepers.

Netherlands' Memphis Depay with a diving header towards goal that is saved
Netherlands’ Memphis Depay with a diving header towards goal that is saved Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

71 min: Corner kick for the Dutch, Virgil heads over.

I’ve been waiting to get to this one from Lennert Beurskens: “It seems like Van Gaal has (rightly) decided that we do not have the attacking nor midfield players to play the famed dominant Dutch Total Football against top teams. However, we do have some world class defenders, so the plan seems to be to play a sort of catenaccio counter attacking game. Hard to watch but so far extremely efficient. Best regards from the Netherlands.”

70 min: The US now leads in final third entries 34-14. But the Dutch efforts just look so much better. Zimmerman has been superb. Sorry I doubted you.

Robinson, who has shaken off his injury, makes a vital tackle.

68 min: Long stoppage there, for which the referee will surely compensate with 15 minutes after we play 90. I exaggerate. I hope.

Zimmerman safely plays it out to stop the onrushing Dutch.

Aaronson fouls Timber. Barely.

“Persistent infringement,” fyi, does not necessarily mean the same player committing all the fouls, and the next player who breathes on Pulisic should be sent to Dubai.

65 min: SUBS, but Robinson is down, and this might hold things up. Haji Wright, the closest thing to a traditional No. 9 on this squad, is ready to go, as is Aaronson, an industrious Leeds United teammate of Adams.

Will Berhalter need to replace Robinson instead? Would Berhalter gamble with three at the back? No, surely not. Robinson looks like he’ll continue.

So it’s Wright and Aaronson in for a disconsolate Weah and McKennie, the latter of whom was injured before the Cup and hasn’t been able to go 90.

63 min: Robinson stops Dumfries at one end, and the Dutch think it’s a penalty. It’s not. Both players are hurt, but we still go to the other end, where Pulisic sets up a chance for Weah that’s blocked. Back the other way briefly, but then it’s back to the US, where Pulisic probably should’ve fallen to draw a foul but instead keeps playing and oh my goodness would this game calm down so I can catch my breath because it’s still unlikely that the US will claw back two goals.

61 min: CHANCE as the Dutch break out. Robinson recovers well. There’s a scramble, and Memphis ends up forcing Turner to palm it over the bar. I think it was going high.

On the corner, Turner fails to collect, but that’s because he was fouled.

I see so much email coming in. My apologies for not getting to it.

60 min: Free kick is cleared easily, as all US set pieces are.

Then, oh my, a BRUTAL foul on Pulisic by the substitute Koopmeiners. That’s a yellow card, and it was absolutely cynical.

58 min: Game has gone quiet.

Gupta responds: “Yeah yeah Soccer word has its origin. But it doesn’t include neither foot nor ball, head, shoulder, chest, buttocks, crotch.”

Is that a reference to the Pulisic injury?

Oh, and he’s just been fouled again. Kick to the shins by Virgil.

Anyway, the Italians call it “calcio.” Go pick on them.

56 min: Weah has space in the middle, but the ball is headed clear.

There will be so many “what ifs” after this game.

53 min: CHANCE with McKennie shooting over the bar, set up brilliantly by Reyna.

Also, for Yash Gupta: Going 0-3 in the 1998 World Cup, with a loss to Iran and tawdry off-field issues, is humiliating. Failing to qualify for the 2018 tournament is humiliating.

This? If you think this is humiliating, I sentence you to watch the Houston Texans. Or read my book. Whichever is more painful.

General view of the action as Netherlands clear a shot off the line
General view of the action as Netherlands clear a shot off the line Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

52 min: Pulisic with a nice touch to create some space. His 18-yard shot is right at Noppert.

Credit Gakpo, incidentally, with that save off the line for the Dutch on the Ream shot.

51 min: Wow. End to end. Imagine if the score was 1-1 or 2-1.

Anyway, back to Gupta: “Soccer” is an English word derived from “association football” back when one group of Englishmen wanted to tackle each other and another wanted to kick each other.

50 min: CHANCE at the other end, and it’s a save by Matt Turner. Would’ve been an own goal for Zimmerman, but it was a vital intervention.

49 min: CHANCE cleared off the line as the ball falls to Ream on a corner, and the least likely US player to score nearly does so but can’t get much oomph at close range in tight space.

Netherlands' Cody Gakpo clears a shot off the line from Tim Ream
Netherlands’ Cody Gakpo clears a shot off the line from Tim Ream Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters
Netherlands’ Cody Gakpo clears a shot off the line from Tim Ream
Netherlands’ Cody Gakpo clears a shot off the line from Tim Ream Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters





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