RAYAN, Qatar ( Associated Press) – The Netherlands stunned the United States with a blistering punch.
Memphis Depay and Daley Blind scored in the first half, while Denzel Dumfries scored a penalty with the third as the Oranje beat the United States 3–1 and reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.
Depay found the net after 10 minutes and Blind extended the lead to 45 for the Dutch, who secured their third win at this World Cup and await the winner of the match between Australia and Argentina.
Both goals, of similar build, were thanks to surgical services by Dumfries’ right wing, who quelled the threat of an American comeback with a goal in the 81st minute.
Haji Wright scored 76 for the Americans, who failed to reach the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time since Korea and Japan in 2002. Belgium, respectively.
Depay reached 43 goals with the national team to surpass Jan Huntelaar as the second all-time top scorer, surpassed only by Robin van Persie (50).
After missing the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Dutch managed to win their last six matches in the best-of-16 round for the fifth time. They reached the quarter-finals for the first time since Brazil 2014, where they advanced to the semi-finals and eventually finished third.
Louis van Gaal’s side had just finished first in Group A with wins against Senegal and hosts Qatar and a draw against Ecuador.
Although the defeat is painful for the United States, with the young squad under the leadership of Greg Berhalter advanced directly to the elimination stage. Against the Dutch, at 25 years and 86 days old, he was the youngest ever line-up for an American team in a World Cup decider.
With Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and others, the United States has a promising field heading into the 2026 tournament, when it will co-host with Mexico and Canada.
One pending topic will be figuring out how to beat a European team. The Americans have failed to win 12 matches against continental rivals at the World Cup since 2002, losing six.
“I think we’ve made some progress,” Berhalter said. “People look at the team and see a clear identity. They see players with claws and who are helpful. They see talent on the court. We’ve made progress, but tonight we regressed.
The elimination of the United States also left CONCACAF without representatives in Qatar.
Four days after being injured after scoring the game-winning goal against Iran, Pulisic missed a clear chance to put the United States ahead in the third minute when he was stopped from point-blank range by Dutch goalkeeper Andries Knoppert.
Pulisic was under suspicion after suffering a pelvic bone injury that sent him to the hospital.
The Netherlands took the lead soon after Dumfries’ first pass to Depay, who hit a cross from inside the box to Matt Turner’s right post.
With the first half coming to an end and the United States making their way to the tie, Dumfries recovered a ball down the right flank and assisted Blind, who did the same billing as Depay.
The United States turned out to be sharp for the second half. Tim Ream shot into the box and Cody Gapko crossed the goal line after Knoppert’s pass.
The American exemption came with some luck. Pulisic sent a cross to the right which Wright deflected with his right foot and headed away from the Dutch goalkeeper.
It looked as if the United States might revive, but those hopes were dashed when Dumfries appeared alone in the box on the right and slotted home to leave Turner with no chance.