Denzel Dumfries scored one and was at the double with assists, putting almost identical balls into Depay and Blind, as Netherlands sweep past USA.
- Denzel Dumfries provided identical assists to Memphis Depay and Daley Blind as Netherlands hit USA with first half sucker-punch
- USA threatened to stage a comeback when Haji Wright scored an astonishing goal, but Dumfries’ volley put the result beyond doubt
- Netherlands progress to the quarter-finals, where they will face the winner of Argentina v Australia
Netherlands 3-1 USA | Round of 16
Goals | Memphis Depay (10′), Daley Blind (45+1)’, Denzel Dumfries (81′); Haji Wright (76′)
Netherlands survived a temporary scare as they swept past USA to book their place in the quarter-final.
USA actually started the brighter of the two sides; Christian Pulisic could have opened the scoring just a couple of minutes into the match, denied by Andries Noppert after racing onto a cute ball over the Dutch defence.
But Netherlands responded in style, scoring one of the silkiest goals of Qatar 2022 so far. Playing out from defence, the Oranje used one-and-two-touch passes to work the ball out to Denzel Dumfries on the right ring, whose pullback was inch-perfect for Memphis Depay to sweep home.
The Americans, perhaps expecting Netherlands to open up and attack a little more, looked lacking in ideas as the Dutch happily sat in and frustrated the USA forward players.
Biding their time paid off as, with just seconds left to play in the first half, Dumfries pulled a ball back to almost the exact same spot as he did for the opener; this time it was Blind who was grateful for the chance to find the far corner.
After the restart, Tim Ream had an effort cleared off the line on his 50th appearance for USA and, at the other end, Matt Turner also prevented a seemingly certain goal – initially saving Teun Koopmeiners’ shot, the goalkeeper was quick to his feet to complete the double save from Depay’s close-range header.
However, it was the Americans who truly relit the fire in this game. Following a corner won by Haji Wright, it was the forward himself who profited – scoring a truly astonishing goal. Meeting Pulisic’s low cross, Wright flicked the ball from the near post, up and over the defence and goalkeeper, with the ball eventually dropping into the far corner of the net.
It seemed like USA had life in them yet, but the day’s star performer, Denzel Dumfries, guided a beautiful left foot volley into the net from Blind’s cross – returning the favour from earlier – to kill the comeback.
Key moment – Haji Wright, did he mean it?
One of the best goals of the tournament? Or one of the strangest? Perhaps both.
Haji Wright’s goal brought life into this game just as Netherlands were starting to wind down to full time with their two goal lead, but what made it really specialy was how simply bizarre it was.
Wright was tumbling to the floor as his right boot flicked a low cross high into the air. Time hung, just as the ball did, as nobody was quite sure what was happening.
Sure enough, whether intentional or not, the ball dropped over everybody’s head and into the net, sending the American fans into rapture.
Memphis Depay moved clear of Klaas Jan Huntelaar to become Netherlands’ second top goal scorer of all time. His goal came at the end of a 20-goal move, which is the highest amount of uninterupted passes leading to a World Cup goal in the country’s history.
Player of the Match
Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands)