World Cup Saturday Recap: The USA drop a 3-1 decision to No. 8-ranked Netherlands in the Round of 16, but leave Qatar with heads held high

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Hollandse Hoogte/Shutterstock (13647909ae) Memphis Depay of Holland celebrates the 1-0 during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 round of 16 match between the Netherlands and the United States at the Khalifa International stadium on December 3, 2022 in al-Rayyan, Qatar. ANP MAURICE VAN STONE Netherlands v USA, FIFA World Cup 2022, Round of 16, Football, Khalifa International Stadium, Ar-Rayyan, Qatar – 03 Dec 2022

World Cup Saturday Recap: The USA drop a 3-1 decision to No. 8-ranked Netherlands in the Round of 16, but leave Qatar with heads held high

Recapping the Saturday action:

Netherlands 3, USA 1

  • What: World Cup, Round of 16
  • When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022 @ 9 a.m. CT
  • Where: Khalifa International Stadium (Al Rayyan, Qatar)
  • FIFA World Ranking: Netherlands (No. 8), USA (No. 15)

Two first-half goals allowed was too much for the USA to overcome in the end, as the Americans dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 8-ranked Netherlands in the Round of 16 at Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar. The Dutch’s Memphis Depay of Barcelona found the back of the net in the 10th minute to give the nation known simply as “Holland” an early 1-0 lead. The early score by Depay marked just the third goal the USA had allowed at the 2022 World Cup. The Americans were one of just six nations to allow only one goal through its first three matches in Qatar, but the defensive soundness that held England to a 0-0 draw on Matchday 2 just wasn’t there in the knockout stage this time around.

Veteran Dutch defender Daley Blind added a second goal in the final minute of first-half stoppage time to give the Netherlands a commanding 2-0 halftime lead despite the USA dominating time of possession with a 63% clip during the first 45-plus minutes. The No. 15-ranked Stars and Stripes of America did answer back in the second half despite the two-goal deficit.

The USA’s third goal of the entire tournament came on a gorgeous back-foot goal by 24-year-old reserve Haji Wright, who came on in the 67th minute for Weston McKennie and scored less than 10 minutes later in the 76th minute to make it 2-1. The push for the equalizer and a possible extra time period was quickly squashed, though, as the Dutch found the net just five minutes later with a Denzel Dumfries left-footed score in the 81st minute as the 26-year-old forward from Inter Milan was left seemingly unguarded in the box off a cross from the left side of the pitch.

USA manager Gregg Berhalter searched for answers throughout the entire contest, running reserves on the field early and often and even subbing out star striker Timothy Weah in the 67th minute for 22-year-old youngster Brendan Aaronson. Christian Pulisic, who entered Saturday’s match with a pelvic contusion after his game-winning goal against Iran on Matchday 3, played the entire full cap, but it wasn’t enough as the USA couldn’t convert enough despite eight shots on goal and a solid 58% to 42% final edge in time of possession over the Netherlands.

The USA finished the match with 17 total shots to just 11 for the Dutch, in addition to holding a lead on total corner kick opportunities (five to four). An early try by Pulisic could’ve given the USA an early 1-0 lead when he caught a flicked pass from Tyler Adams, but Dutch goalkeeper Andrries Noppert was aggressive in his defense and came near the outer edge of the box for the first of his five saves. Dumfries finished a stellar match with one goal and two assists for the Netherlands, making an impact on every single one of his team’s goals.

The Netherlands came into the knockout stage off the heels of a disappointing offensive effort in group play, but it showed the efficiency and patience it needed in order to rack up goals in a hurry against a young and talented, yet inexperienced USA side. The Dutch will be one of just eight teams remaining in the quarterfinals and will now face the winner of Argentina versus Australia in the quarterfinals at 1 p.m. CT this Friday, Dec. 9, at Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail, Qatar.

Despite falling in the Round of 16, the Americans had an impressive World Cup campaign, coming into Qatar as the second-youngest team of 32 nations next to the Black Stars of Ghana. Team USA has two international friendly matches already on its schedule in January, with dates against Serbia at 9 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Three days later the USA will also battle against South American rival Colombia at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The No. 17-ranked Colombians are the second-highest-ranked team by FIFA not to qualify for the World Cup, next to No. 6-ranked Italy. The USA has lost three straight matches to Colombia, which has now won five consecutive matches since firing manager Reinaldo Rueda after it was eliminated from World Cup qualifying contention with a sixth-place finish in CONMEBOL.

The Dutch are now 5-1 all-time versus the Americans, although the USA can now hang its hat on advancing from group play in three straight World Cup appearances. As one of three co-host nations for the 2026 World Cup, the Americans will surely be primed to make a deep run, as much of its young talent on the roster should be reaching their football primes in four years.

Round of 16/Knockout Stage Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 3

  • Who: Argentina (No. 3) vs. Australia (No. 38)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Ahmad bin Ali Stadium (Al Rayyan, Qatar)

Sunday, Dec. 4

  • Who: France (No. 4) vs. Poland (No. 26)
  • When, where: 9 a.m. CT, Al Thumama Stadium (Doha, Qatar)
  • Who: England (No. 5) vs. Senegal (No. 18)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Al Bayt Stadium (Al Khor, Qatar)

Monday, Dec. 5

  • Who: Japan (No. 24) vs. Croatia (No. 12)
  • When, where: 9 a.m. CT, Al Janoub Stadium (Al Wakrah, Qatar)
  • Who: Brazil (No. 1) vs. South Korea (No. 28)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Stadium 974 (Doha, Qatar)

Tuesday, Dec. 6

  • Who: Morocco (No. 22) vs. Spain (No. 7)
  • When, where: 9 a.m. CT, Education City Stadium (Doha, Qatar)
  • Who: Portugal (No. 9) vs. Switzerland (No. 15)
  • When, where: 1 p.m. CT, Lusail Iconic Stadium (Lusail, Qatar)

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