AL RAYYAN, Qatar (Dec. 3, 2022) – The U.S. Men’s National Team fell to No. 8-ranked Netherlands 3-1 in the Round of 16 to end its run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, the USA fought valiantly to come back in the second as substitute forward Haji Wright netted his first World Cup goal. Still, the spirited effort wasn’t enough to topple a talented, physical, and organized Dutch side.
In its return to the global stage for the first time in eight years, the USA fielded four of the five youngest line-ups in the World Cup so far and reached the knockout stage for the fourth time in its last five World Cup appearances. While the USA held the better of possession for long stretches of the match and held a 17-11 margin in shots and eight to six in shots on goal, the Dutch proved more decisive in both penalty boxes and were able to damage the young Americans on the break throughout the evening.
The USA dominated the game’s opening minutes. It nearly got off to a dream start when the midfielder Weston McKennie won a ball at the top of the Dutch penalty area, looping it over his head and into the path of forward Christian Pulisic, who was behind the defense but in an onside position. His one-on-one opportunity was stopped by 6-foot-8 Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert, who rushed out of the net to cut down the angle and make a save with his shin.
The quality of the Netherlands was on full display shortly after that when it scored the opening goal in the 10th minute. The Dutch were decisive and skillful on the counterattack, stringing together 20 passes and switching the field to Denzel Dumfries on the right wing. He sent a cross on the ground for the late arriving Memphis Depay and smashed a low shot into the left corner from 14 years out to give his side the lead. It was the first goal allowed by the U.S. in open play at the tournament. Dumfries would tally a goal and two assists on the night.
After going down, the U.S. continued to possess patiently but struggled to create quality chances in the final third. Following three sterling performances in the group stage by the U.S. midfield, the Dutch stood up to the trio of Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, and Yunus Musah, who nevertheless put in yet another excellent shift on both sides of the ball.
The U.S. got most of its spark from the right wing, with Dutch-American right back Sergiño Dest combining well with forward Tim Weah. The pair helped catalyze several threatening looks towards the end of the half, including a shot rifled by Weah from outside the box in the 42nd that was well-parried by Noppert.
Despite finding its footing again in the later stages of the half, the U.S. was dealt a gut punch when the Netherlands bagged another goal in the first and only minute of first-half stoppage time. After winning a throw-in deep in U.S. territory, some nice combination play on the right side led to Dumfries being the playmaker again. He sent a cross on the ground for the crashing Daley Blind, and he one-timed his spinning shot past U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner.
End-to-end action picked up in the second half, and the USA created one of its best chances on a corner kick in the 49th. Pulisic played a ball headed by McKennie and fell to defender Tim Ream, who put an attempt on frame only to have it cleared off the goal line by Cody Gakpo. The Dutch struck back quickly as Depay fired a shot at Turner in the 51st that was saved. The prolific forward was close to pouncing on the rebound before Dest cleared the ball away. Halftime substitute Gio Reyna provided a spark off the bench for the U.S., combining with McKennie to set him up for a long-range shot in the 54th that went over the crossbar.
The Netherlands continued to menace with its electric play on the break as the United States pushed for a goal. After the U.S. slowed down an attacking run in the 61st, Turner leaped to push a rocket from Depay from the top of the box over the crossbar and then muscled away a Dutch defender to secure the ball on the ensuing corner kick. Defender Antonee Robinson made a goal-saving tackle inside the box in the 63rd on another dangerous run by the Netherlands.
Turner, who distinguished himself through all four games of the World Cup, was called upon several times down the stretch in the second half, rising to the occasion to keep the game within reach. In the 71st, he saved a hard-hit shot from halftime substitute Teun Koopmeiners, and when the onrushing Depay put his head on the ball for the follow-up attempt, Turner did well to throw up a hand and make another reflex save.
Substitutes Brenden Aaronson and Haji Wright made their presence felt off the bench in the second half and pushed to get the U.S. on the board, and the USMNT’s efforts were rewarded in the 76th minute. After the initial clearance on a corner kick, Pulisic received the ball back on the right wing and played it on the ground into the scrum inside the six-yard box. Wright got a foot on the ball, and it flicked up off his boot with a nasty spin, looping into the net at the far post to pull the U.S. within one goal.
For a few minutes, it seemed that an equalizing goal was well within reach for the young and pressing Americans, but the Netherlands responded five minutes later to put the game away and end the USA’s World Cup dreams. The unmarked Dumfries again proved to be a problem for the U.S. defense on the right side, this time finishing a cross from the left wing from Blind.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
- NED – Memphis Depay (Denzel Dumfries), 10th minute – As the Netherlands darted up the center of the field, Dumfries received a pass on the right wing and sent in a low, driven cross into the USA box, which Depay finished on his first touch to the low far post. NED 1, USA 0
- NED – Daley Blind (Denzel Dumfries), 45+1st minute – Following a throw-in, Netherlands threatened in the attack down the right flank, connecting quick passes to unlock Dumfries near the endline from where he sent another driven cross into the heart of the box, which Blind finished with one touch following a darting run from the opposite side of the box. NED 2, USA 0
- USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic), 76th minute – The USA recovered the ball as the Dutch tried to get out of their defensive third, and following a string of quick passes, Pulisic received the ball on the right wing. From there, he sent a cross into the box, which spun off Wright’s foot as he battled with his marking defender. The ball lobbed over the goalkeeper and into the goal on the back post to narrow the margin. NED 2, USA 1
- NED – Denzel Dumfries (Daley Blind), 81st minute – Netherlands strung together a dangerous attack. Still, the USA did well to apply pressure to complicate their efforts until Blind received the ball near the left sideline and whipped in a cross to the back post. Dumfries snuck in unmarked to finish with a one-time strike low and to the back post to seal the win for the Netherlands. NED 3, USA 1
- Haji Wright’s 76th-minute strike was his second career international goal and first in the FIFA World Cup.
- Christian Pulisic recorded his 12th career assist on Wright’s goal. Pulisic finished the World Cup with a goal and two assists over 225 minutes of play. Pulisic follows Graham Zusi (2014) as the only USMNT player with two recorded assists at the World Cup and joins Bert Patenaude (4 goals; 1930), Brian McBride (2 goals, one assist; 2002), and Landon Donovan (3 goals; 2010) as the fourth player to register three or more goal contributions at a single tournament.
- Today’s USMNT Starting XI had an average age of 25 years, 86 days. It is the second youngest lineup at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, behind only the USA XI that began the last match against IR Iran (24 years, 321 days). It was also the USMNT’s youngest lineup in a World Cup knockout round match.
- Through the tournament, the USA has fielded four of the five youngest lineups at Qatar 2022. The average age of the USMNT Starting XI through the four matches was 25 years, 139 days.
- Gregg Berhalter made two changes to the Starting XI that faced Iran. Center-back Walker Zimmerman – who started the first two matches of the tournament – replaced Cameron Carter-Vickers in the XI. At the same time, forward Jesús Ferreira made his FIFA World Cup debut in replacement of Josh Sargent, who was unavailable for selection today due to a right ankle sprain.
- The nine other players made their fourth consecutive start.
- Ferreira’s start took the team’s number of World Cup debuts at Qatar 2022 to 19 players – extending the record already set by the USMNT at this tournament. The previous team record for debuts at one World Cup was 16 in 1990.
- At 23 years and 292 days, Tyler Adams was the youngest player to captain the USMNT in a World Cup knockout round match. The previous youngest was Tony Meola (25 years, 133 days), who wore the armband in the Round of 16 matches against Brazil at the 1994 edition in the United States.
- Tyler Adams captained the USMNT for the 13th time tonight. The team is 5-2-6 when he wears the armband. Adams is the sixth different player to captain the USMNT in a World Cup Knockout Round match: Tom Florie (1930 vs. Argentina), Tony Meola (1994 vs. Brazil), Claudio Reyna (2002 vs. Mexico and Germany), Carlos Bocanegra (2010 vs. Ghana), Clint Dempsey (2014 vs. Belgium).
- Veteran defender Tim Ream earned his 50th cap, becoming the 59th player in USMNT history to hit the half-century mark. At age 35, he is the second oldest player in team history to earn his 50th cap, coming in behind the late Fernando Clavijo, who made his 50th appearance at age 36 in a Concacaf Gold Cup group stage match against Panama on July 14, 1993.
- At 20 years, four days, Yunus Musah became the youngest USMNT player to start a World Cup knockout round match. Landon Donovan, who was 20 years, and 107 days when he started the Round of 16 matches against Mexico on June 17, 2002, is the second-youngest. Donovan scored the second goal in the 2-0 win against El Trí.
- Gregg Berhalter is 37-11-12 in 60 matches as USMNT head coach. The team has compiled a 7-2-0 record under Berhalter in knockout round matches, with the only losses coming in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final, a 1-0 defeat to Mexico, and the 3-1 loss against the Netherlands in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Round of 16.
- The USMNT is now 1-5-0 all-time against the Netherlands.
-U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Netherlands
Date: December 3, 2022
Competition: 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar; Round of 16
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium; Al Rayyan, Qatar
Kickoff: 10 a.m. ET (6 p.m. local)
Weather: 76 degrees, clear
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
NED 2 1 3
NED – Memphis Depay (Denzel Dumfries) 10th minute
NED – Daley Blind (Denzel Dumfries) 45+1
USA – Haji Wright (Christian Pulisic) 76
NED – Denzel Dumfries (Daley Blind) 81
USA: 1-Matt Turner; 2-Sergiño Dest (22-DeAndre Yedlin, 75) , 3-Walker Zimmerman, 13-Tim Ream, 5-Antonee Robinson (16-Jordan Morris, 90+2); 4-Tyler Adams (Capt.), 6-Yunus Musah, 8-Weston McKennie (19-Haji Wright, 67); 21-Tim Weah (11-Brenden Aaronson, 67), 9-Jesús Ferreira (7-Gio Reyna, 46), 10-Christian Pulisic
Substitutes not used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 25-Sean Johnson, 14-Luca de la Torre, 15-Aaron Long, 17-Cristian Roldan, 18-Shaq Moore, 20-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 23-Kellyn Acosta, 26-Joe Scally
Head Coach: Gregg Berhalter
NED: 23-Andries Noppert; 2-Jurrien Timber, 4-Virgil van Dijk (Capt.), 5-Nathan Ake (3-Matthijs de Ligt, 90+4); 22-Denzel Dumfries, 15-Marten de Roon (7-Steven Bergwijn, 46), 21-Frenkie de Jong, 17-Daley Blind; 8-Cody Gakpo (19-Wout Weghorst, 90+4), 14-Davy Klaassen (20-Teun Koopmeiners, 46), 10-Memphis Depay (25-Xavi Simons, 83)
Substitutes not used: 1-Remko Pasveer, 13-Justin Bijlow, 6-Stefan de Vrij, 9-Luuk de Jong, 11-Steven Berghuis, 12-Noa Lang, 16-Tyrell Malacia, 18-Vincent Janssen, 24-Kenneth Taylor, 26-Jeremie Frimpong
Head Coach: Louis van Gaal
Stats Summary: USA / NED
Shots: 17 / 11
Shots on Goal: 8 / 6
Saves: 4 / 5
Corner Kicks: 5 / 4
Fouls: 5 / 10
Offside: 3 / 0
NED – Teun Koopmeiners (Caution) 60th minute
NED – Frenkie de Jong (Caution) 87
Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Bruno Boschilia (BRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Pires (BRA)
4th Official: Andres Matias Matonte Cabrera (URU)
Var: Nicolas Gallo (COL)
Assistant Var: Juan Soto (VEN)
Budweiser Man of the Match: Matt Turner