Al Rayyan, Qatar, Dec 3 (EFE).- The Netherlands defeated the United States 3-1 here Saturday to reach the quarterfinals of World Cup 2022.
Still looking for their first World Cup title, the three-time runners-up will next face the winners of Saturday’s late game between Argentina, who have lifted the trophy twice, and Australia.
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal was content to see his men concede nearly 60 percent possession to the talented US, confident that their greater experience would make the difference against the youngest side in the tournament.
Yet the Dutch player with the least international experience, 28-year-old goalkeeper Andries Noppert, was also crucial to the victory, making five saves.
On the attack, the Oranje were led by Inter Milan’s Denzel Dumfries, who assisted on the first two goals and scored the third.
The Americans started aggressively in front of nearly 45,000 spectators at Al Khalifa Stadium in Al Rayyan and Noppert was tested in the third minute by Chelsea man Christian Pulisic, the author of the goal against Iran that propelled the US into the round of 16.
The Dutch survived the initial onslaught and went ahead in the 10th minute on a goal by Memphis Depay that culminated a series of pinpoint passes reminiscent of the “total football” era of Johan Cruyff.
Noppert – playing in only his fourth international match – had to be sharp in the 43rd minute to turn aside a blast from Tim Weah, son of Liberian legend George Weah.
Seconds into first-half stoppage time, Dumfries got the ball to the onrushing Daley Blind, who scored his first international goal to extend the Dutch lead.
Weston McKennie forced a stop from Noppert in the 50th minute and an alert defender blocked Tim Ream’s attempt off the rebound.
Quick reflexes allowed US keeper Matt Turner to avert a possible own goal by defender Walker Zimmerman and the Arsenal backup tipped a strike from Depay over the cross-bar just after the hour mark.
Turner produced a double-save in the 72nd minute, denying Teun Koopmeiners and Depay in rapid succession to keep the US hopes alive and the Americans halved the deficit in the 76th with a goal from sub Haji Wright, assisted by Pulisic.
But with the end of regulation nine minutes away, Dumfries converted a cross from Blind to make it 3-1.