Netherlands 3-1 USA: Ranking players like stars and stripes out of World Cup

The Netherlands made it to the World Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable win over the United States.

Despite a slow start, Louis van Gaal’s side grew into the match and caught out the USA with some great counter attacks.

The USA dominated the early stages of the match, their intense pressure in stark contrast to the more subdued approach adopted by the Dutch.

Greg Berhalter’s side could have taken the lead inside five minutes when Christian Pulisic found himself one-on-one with Andreas Neupert, but the Chelsea winger could not beat the Dutch goalkeeper.

Despite their slow start, the Netherlands scored with their first attack, Memphis Depay completing a beautiful back-to-front move that included 21 passes before sweeping in Denzel Dumfries’ cutback.

The Dutch drew first blood, and they countered their threat almost every time the Americans surrendered.

The U.S. showed plenty of energy and a desire to impose themselves on the game, but struggled to penetrate the stout Dutch defense for the majority of the half.

Their best chance to level the tie came minutes before the end of the half, when Timothy Weah shot from the edge of the box and forced a decent save from Neupert.

And the Stars and Stripes found themselves in even deeper trouble when Daley Blind scored on the stroke of half-time, with Dumfries assisting a goal that almost matched the earlier goal.

The scoreline felt a little harsh on the US, but the Netherlands showed their tournament experience with a determined display that took advantage of their opponents’ willingness to play on the front foot.

As the second half began, it was the Netherlands that looked more likely to score next as the Americans began to lose their resolve.

Then, out of nowhere, it was 2-1. Pulisic flicked the ball on goal from the right and it was deflected into the net by the boot of Haji Wright.

More than a sprinkle of fortune appeared about the motive, but America didn’t care; They came back into the game with 15 minutes left to save their World Cup.

It was starting to look as if the US might have their opponents on the ropes – but then Dumfries popped up to volley home from Blind’s cross onto the post to seal victory for the Orange.

The USA can be proud of their performance in this World Cup and their young squad can only improve in future tournaments. However, the better side won that day and it will be a great learning experience from Berhalter.

Netherlands (3-4-1-2)

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GK: Andries Neupert – 6/10 – Made a couple of decent saves, but maybe the American could have done better with the goal.

CB: Jurrien Timber – 7/10 – Committed in defense and helped keep the ball moving well.

CB: Virgil van Dijk – 7/10 – A dominant display from the Dutch captain, who kept the defense organized in the dying moments of the match.

CB: Nathan Ake – 7/10 – A 90-minute one from Ake, neutralizes Timothy Weah’s threat with ease.

RWB: Denzel Dumfries – 9/10 – A superb performance from the wing-back, who scored the first two goals before scoring the third himself.

CM: Martin De Rovin – 6/10 – A lackluster first-half performance from the Atlanta man before making way for Koopmeiners.

CM: Frankie De Jong – 7/10 – Very smooth and sure on the ball.

LWB: Daily Blind – 8/10 – Left the years behind with a purpose and support.

AM: Davey Klassen – 6/10 – A bit peripheral to Holland’s good moments and was replaced at half-time.

ST: Cody Gakpo – 7/10 – No goals were scored today for the first time in this World Cup, but Gakpo was a constant problem for the American defense.

ST: Memphis Depay – 8/10 – Put the finishing touches on a delightful first goal from him. Was dropped early due to his constant injury problems, but made the difference for his team today.


Steven Berg Vision – 6/10 – Showed a lot of energy but didn’t really have a meaningful impact on the game.

Teun Koopmeiners – 7/10 – Did a nasty job for the Netherlands in the second half, constantly popping up with key tackles and interceptions.

Xavi Simons – N/A

Wout Weghorst – N/A

Matthijs de Ligt – N/A

The manager

Louis van Gaal – 7/10 – It wasn’t quite the Netherlands performance of old, but they showed shrewdness and understanding to get the job done and Van Gaal deserves credit for that.

USA (4-3-3)

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GK: Matt Turner – 7/10 – Made some big saves and helped recycle possession quickly, but couldn’t do anything about the goals.

RB: Sergino Dest – 6/10 – It was vital to his team’s efforts to play out of defense with the ability to get forward with the ball. Unable to create much in attack, but a decent display from Dest nonetheless.

CB: Walker Zimmerman – 6/10 – Back from injury, Zimmerman looked a little off the pace here at times.

CB: Tim Ream – 6/10 – Looked comfortable enough on the ball but couldn’t cope with the Netherlands’ attacking firepower.

LB: Antonee Robinson – 6/10 – Looked threatening down the left and linked up well with Pulisic at times.

CM: Weston McKinney – 6/10 – The competition looked a little off compared to some of his earlier performances.

CM: Tyler Adams – 7/10 – A bright spark for the U.S., Adams can count on this as a solid performance for a stellar World Cup cap for himself.

CM: Yunus Minsha – 6/10 – He was unable to help his team take control of the midfield.

RW: Timothy Weah – 5/10 – A disappointing day for Weah, who never really got into the game.

LW: Christian Pulisic – 6/10 – The U.S. needed its star man today, but Pulisic couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities that came his way and was crowded for most of the game.

ST: Jesus Ferreira – 5/10 – Struggled to help him get into play or keep the ball up in attacking areas. Bowed at half time.


Giovanni Reyna – 5/10 – A brilliant display from the Borussia Dortmund man.

Haji Wright – 7/10 – Scored the goal that briefly brought his team back into the contest, but would be left to ruin his memory moments later.

Brandon Aaronson – 5/10 – Was unable to give anything of note.

DeAndre Yedlin – N/A

Jordan Morris – N/A

The manager

Gregg Berhalter – 6/10 – There was nothing wrong with the way Berhalter pitched his side today. Unfortunately, the U.S. does not have the level of skill and tournament experience that Holland has, and they are out with a strong set of players.

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