Sergino Dest of the United States (in white) and Daley Blind of the Netherlands fight for the ball during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and the United States, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Dec 3, 2022. (ASHLEY LANDIS / AP)
DOHA - Right back Denzel Dumfries gave a stunning performance as the Netherlands became the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the World Cup with a 3-1 win over the USA on Saturday.
The defender set up his side's first two goals for Memphis Depay and Daley Blind, before assuring the win with an 81st-minute volley as the USA were pressing for an equalizer.
The Dutch scored in the 10th minute with ease, moving the ball from left to right where the overlapping Denzel Dumfries pulled back for the unmarked Memphis Depay to sweep into the far corner
Christian Pulisic was passed fit to play for the USA against an unchanged Dutch side after struggling with a pelvic injury for the past couple of days, with the return of Walker Zimmerman for Cameron Carter-Vickers, the only change for the Americans.
Much of the pre-game talk had been the USA's pace and energetic high-press, and for 10 minutes they swamped the Netherlands, pinning them deep in their own half.
Fruit of that pressure, Pulisic found himself through on goal, but Andries Noppert pulled off a great stop with his left leg.
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The Dutch scored in the 10th minute with ease, moving the ball from left to right where the overlapping Dumfries pulled back for the unmarked Depay to sweep into the far corner.
The Dutch got behind the USA's high pressure and Blind should have done better when Cody Gakpo's work gave him a good sight of goal.
The USA struggled to create anything until Timothy Weah appeared, first with a run down the right and then with a thumping volley that Noppert did well to parry.
Walker Zimmerman of the United States (left) attempts a shot at goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and the United States, at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Dec 3, 2022. (LUCA BRUNO / AP)
The second half began with the Americans keeping their high line, and Tim Ream almost scoring at both ends. Firstly the defender saw his effort from a corner scramble away in the Dutch area, before Matt Turner reacted well to stop him deflecting in a cross from the impressive Dumfries under pressure from Depay
Blind may have missed one good chance earlier in the half, but he made no mistake with the second on the stroke of halftime. Once again Dumfries was the provider and Blind ran onto his pullback to fire low into the corner in a repeat of Depay's opener.
The second half began with the Americans keeping their high line, and Tim Ream almost scoring at both ends. Firstly the defender saw his effort from a corner scramble away in the Dutch area, before Matt Turner reacted well to stop him deflecting in a cross from the impressive Dumfries under pressure from Depay.
Turner then made a flying save to tip away Depay's 25-meter effort and then produced a double stop to block Teun Koopmeiners' shot and Depay's follow-up header.
READ MORE: US coach hoping to draw on Dutch lessons in last 16 tie
Haji Wright should have got the USA back into the game in the 73rd minute when he latched onto Depay's poor backpass only for his first touch to take him wide, but he did so moments later, flicking the ball with the outside of his boot so it looped agonizingly into the corner of the net.
Dumfries assured the Dutch will be in the quarterfinals with his 81st-minute volley following Blind's pinpoint cross.
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