Denzel Dumfries impressed with two assists and one goal to guide Netherlands to Quarter-Finals of 2022 FIFA World Cup with 3-1 victory over USA.
Having weathered USA’s dangerous press, Depay swept the Netherlands in front with a 10th minute strike from Dumfries’ pullback pass.
Daley Blind doubled Netherlands’ lead at half-time as he rifled in from Dumfries’ pullback pass in first-half injury-time, which left the Dutch in comfortable control of a Quarter-Final spot.
Haji Wright flicked in a 75th minute goal from Christian Pulisic’s low cross to reduce USA’s deficit as the Americans chased a comeback.
Dumfries ended USA’s hopes with a 81st minute volley to send Netherlands through to the Quarter-Finals, where they will face the winner of Argentina’s tie against Australia on Friday 9 December at 10pm AST local time.
Aware of USA’s pressing quality, Netherlands immediately opted to play on the counter-attack in a deep defensive position, which saw them quickly frustrate USA’s incoming crosses – especially from Pulisic who saw a third minute shot denied.
Their patience quickly paid dividends just ten minutes into the game as a sweeping attack started in defence saw Dumfries meet a deep pass across to the right flank, from which he swept back towards the box for Depay to calmly fire across into the bottom-left corner to put the Dutch in front.
USA attempted to respond throughout the first-half with their best chance falling to Timothy Weah in the 43rd minute, as he latched onto a loose ball and unleashed a powerful shot towards the bottom-right corner only for Andries Noppert to punch the attempt away from goal.
Netherlands eventually punished more high-pressing play as they dominated the final few minutes of the first-half, with a throw-in finding Dumfries who pulled back for Blind to rifle in unmarked to double their lead at the break.
USA responded by substituting Jesus Ferreira for Giovanni Reyna and increased intensity early in the second-half as Weah then Weston McKennie saw chances denied in the 49th minute.
Pulisic and McKennie then both wasted further chances as Noppert proved difficult to break down, with the Dutch goalkeeper eventually making a 74th minute error but recovered to force Wright wide, as Dumfries swept in to clear the shot.
Noppert however was ultimately beaten a minute later after the corner was cleared as Pulsic swung in a low cross, which Wright flicked in via his leg beyond Noppert’s reach to reduce the Americans’ deficit.
Pulisic then saw chance to equalise in the 79th minute saved by Noppert, as Netherlands went on to end any hopes of a comeback two minutes later after Dumfries volleyed in from Daley Blind’s cross to restore the Dutch’s two-goal lead.
Louis van Gaal’s Oranje eventually clung on to secure a Quarter-Final spot for the third straight World Cup tournament which they’ve been involved in, having not qualified for the 2018 tournament.
Netherlands: Andries Noppert, Jurrien Timber, Virgil van Dijk, Nathan Ake (De Light 90+4′), Denzel Dumfries, Marten de Roon (Bergwijn 45′), Frenkie de Jong, Daley Blind, Davy Klaassen (Koopmeiners 45′), Cody Gakpo (Weghorst 90+4′), Memphis Depay (Simons 83′)
Substitutes: Wout Weghorst, Tyrell Malacia, Jeremie Frimpong, Justin Bijlow, Kenneth Taylor, Noa Lang, Stefan de Vrij, Steven Bergwijn, Xavi Simons, Teun Koopmeiners, Matthijs de Ligt, Luuk de Jong, Steven Berghius, Remk Pasveer, Vincent Janssen
USA: Matt Turner, Sergino Dest (Yedlin 75′), Walker Zimmerman, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Yunus Musah, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie (Wright 67′), Jesus Ferreira (Reyna 45′), Timothy Weah (Aaronson 67′), Christian Pulisic
Substitutes: Giovanni Reyna, Brenden Aaronson, Ethan Hovarth, Luca De La Torre, Aaron Long, Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan, Shaq Moore, Haji Wright, Cameron Carter-Vickers, DeAndre Yedlin, Kellyn Acosta, Sean Johnson, Joe Scally
Referee: Wilton Pereira Sampaio (Brazil)