Clinical Netherlands dispatch USA to reach quarter-finals

© Adrian Dennis, AFP

A clinical Netherlands ended the United States' World Cup dream on Saturday, sweeping into the quarter-finals with a ruthless 3-1 victory.

First-half goals from Memphis Depay and Daley Blind and a late strike from Denzel Dumfries sealed a deserved victory as the Dutch handed out a painful lesson in finishing to their American opponents.

The Netherlands, bidding to win their first World Cup after losing in three previous finals, will face Argentina or Australia in the last eight.

Veteran coach Louis van Gaal's men were worthy victors in Saturday's last-16 clash at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Although the USA enjoyed long periods of possession in a bright first-half display, all too often a lack of composure in the final third let them down.

Instead it was the Dutch who calmly bided their time before carving open the Americans with forensic precision.

USA forward Christian Pulisic squandered a golden chance to put his team 1-0 up after only three minutes, when he found himself in space only to see a scuffed shot saved by Andries Noppert.

Buoyed by that early chance, the US remained on the front foot, attacking high up the field.

But on 10 minutes the Netherlands took the lead. Superb interplay in midfield saw the ball worked to Inter Milan's Dumfries down the right.

Dumfries picked out Depay, who swept home the finish to cap a majestic 20-pass move that was in the best traditions of the Netherlands' total footballing heritage.


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