It made the most of the running and dominated possession but Team USA was defeated by a wily Dutch team in the second round of the Qatar World Cup.
The Netherlands proved to be a difficult opponent, and its two goals in the first half from Memphis Depay, after a magnificent 21-pass move, and Daley Blind came against the run of play.
The U.S. battled hard and pulled a goal back when Haji Wright’s deflection from Christian Pulisic’s cross looped in at the far post toward the end of the second.
But the wind was immediately taken from the team's sails as the Dutch went down to the other end and Denzel Dumfries scored, volleying in at the far post from Blind’s cross to make it 3-1.
What to know about the U.S. World Cup match vs. The Netherlands
- The United States failed to get to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002 after losing 3-1.
- The Dutch scored twice in the first half once in the second, right after the U.S. equalized.
- Forward Christian Pulisic, who was an injury doubt before the game, was cleared to play.
- Argentina will play Australia at 2 p.m. EST.
- More than a million people have traveled to Qatar for the World Cup, but controversy is also descending on the tiny Gulf kingdom.
Guys 'brought everything,' U.S. coach says
Downcast American coach Gregg Berhalter said he couldn't be more proud of his players, following the Netherlands' 3-1 victory that sent the United States packing from the World Cup.
“This is a difficult one to handle,” he said. “It’s such a good group of guys, such a close group of guys and we came short today — but not for lack of trying, not for the lack of effort. The guys brought everything they had into this game.”
The U.S. run to the round of 16 was a major achievement from a team that missed out on the tournament in 2018.
“When you think about this group, how they’ve come together over the last three and a half years, it's really special to see,” Berhalter added.
Dutch celebrate victory
United States eliminated from World Cup play
Denzel Dumfries scored one goal and set up two more as the Netherlands defeated the United States, 3-1, and ended America's run in the World Cup.
The United States had hoped to make its first quarterfinal appearance since 2002.
The Americans held the ball for much of play, controlling possession 52% of the time compared with 34% by the Netherlands.
But clinical finishing by the Dutch carried the day, skillfully capitalizing on their chances.
The United States could not overcome two first-half goals by the Dutch, who will go on to play the winner of Argentina-Australia in the quarterfinals.
Haji Wright's goal in the 76th minute, off a pass from Christian Pulisic, gave the United States hope.
But much like the end of the first half, the Dutch delivered a late dagger to take the wind of U.S. sails.
And again, it was Dumfries who made the winning play, converting Daley Blind's pass for goal in the 81st minute to account for the final score.
U.S. makes final substitution
Jordan Morris comes on for Antonee Robinson.
The end is near: 6 minutes of stoppage time
Unless the United States can score twice in these final minutes, the American run in this World Cup will be done.
The Americans scored just two goals in three group stage matches
And just like that, the Netherlands take back control
Heartbreaker as Denzel Dumfries' goal in the 81st minute restored order and the Netherlands extended its lead to 3-1.
Dumfries, whose marvelous passes set up the previous two Dutch goals, finally had a chance to feast himself as he took a feed from Daley Blind and drove it into the bottom left corner of the U.S. goal.
The United States scores, cutting Dutch lead to 2-1
Haji Wright just got a heel on a pass from Christian Pulisic in the 76th minute as the United States cut the deficit in half.
The substitute didn't so much kick it as the pass just found his heel and the ball sailed into the corner of the net.
Matt Turner makes a terrific save
U.S. makes two substitutions
Brenden Aaronson and Haji Wright come on for Timothy Weah and Weston McKennie.
Reason for hope? The U.S. rallied at Amsterdam in 2015
It was seven years ago and only a friendly, but if desperate U.S. supporters want any reason to hope, they can look back this summer night in Amsterdam.
The United States scored two late goals for a 4-3 victory in a match that seemed like centuries ago, as the Americans were then coached by former German striker Jurgen Klinsmann.
Tonight's Dutch scocrers, Memphis Depay and Daley Blind, were both on the pitch that 2015 night in Amsterdam.
Dutch goalkeeper untroubled by U.S. shots
Two shots from the U.S. failed to trouble the Dutch goalkeeper.
First Christian Pulisic hit a weak shot from the edge of the penalty area. Then Weston Mckennie blazed over the bar.
Disaster nearly strikes again
U.S, goalkeeper Matt Turner made a point-blank save to prevent an own-goal teammate Walker Zimmerman, keeping America's slim hopes of alive.
Another fine cross by Denzel Dumfries nearly found Daley Blind in the 50th minute as Zimmerman was forced into an awkward clearance — that called for Turner to come up big, preventing would could have been own goal.
Second half kicks off with U.S. substitution
Team USA have made one substitution as the second half kicks off. In desperate need of inspiration, they brought in 20-year-old Gio Reyna for the final 45 minutes in place of Jesús Ferreira.
Dutch celebrate after scoring 2nd goal
Halftime: U.S. winning in possession but not on scoreboard
The halftime whistle blew with the United States winning time of possession, but failing to convert that control into a goal.
With the Dutch sitting off, the Americans have had plenty of possession but have struggled to create much in attack.
The United States had the ball 59% of time compared to just 30% by the Netherlands. The best American scoring chances came from Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah.
Gut punch just before halftime
Daley Blind converted on the final kick of the half, with a crushing goal that gave the Netherlands a 2-0 lead over the United States, headed to the dressing room.
Much like this match's only other goal, the opportunity was created by Denzel Dumfries who wrapped a pinpoint pass around U.S. defender Tyler Adams to find Blind unmarked from the spot.
Before this this round-of-16 match, the United States hadn't surrendered a goal from open play in Qatar.
Great save from U.S. midfielder Timothy Weah
U.S. midfielder Timothy Weah hits a great shot from just outside the Dutch penalty area but Dutch keeper Andries Noppert gets down well to save.
Dutch sit back as U.S. struggle to create much in attack
With the Dutch sitting off, Team USA have had plenty of possession but have struggled to create much in attack.
Depay attacks again
Memphis Depay runs at the U.S. defense again but he's well held up by defender Walker Zimmerman and the ball goes out for a corner.
Goal scorer Depay misses a tough chance
Dutch striker Memphis Depay misses a tough chance. Breaking down the left of the U.S. penalty area his shot goes well wide.
Christian Pulisic looking healthy so far
The physical well-being of Christian Pulisic had been the primary American concern entering tonight's play.
So far, so good.
The Hershey, Pennsylvania native has been active in the U.S. attack and had the best scoring chance for America, breaking through the Dutch defense before being stopped by 6-foot-8 goalkeeper Andries Noppert.
Pulisic was injured while scoring the winning goal for his team earlier this week against Iran.
Netherlands draw first blood
Memphis Depay gives the Netherlands, 1-0 lead, with a goal in the 10th minute as the United States trail for the first time this World Cup.
Depay found the the bottom left corner of the U.S. goal after receiving a pass from Denzel Dumfries.
It had been all Team USA until the goal. Christian Pulisic had forced a fine save from Andries Noppert in the opening five minutes.
Dutch team fighting the flu
The Americans face a Dutch squad that, like several other World Cup teams at this tournament, is battling the flu. The bug ran through the U.S. squad last week.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal gave his team the day off on Thursday instead of running a typical 11-on-11 match.
“I gave them a day of rest,” Van Gaal said Friday. “With this group, they communicate that to me. I listen to my players.”
He declined to elaborate on how many players are affected, but by abandoning the typical training schedule Van Gaal created speculation that at least six players are ill.
“We are not going to elaborate on that,” he said. “But if it goes around in the group, it is worrying.”
'You guys are going to do it,' Biden says in new video
How to watch Team USA vs. the Netherlands
The United States must-win match against the Dutch, which is being played at Qatar's Khalifa International Stadium, starts at 9 a.m. EST.
The United States is trying to get to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002, but the team is winless in its last 11 World Cup games against European teams, a streak that includes five losses and six draws.
What’s in the ‘magic spray’ World Cup players use, and does it really work?
Viewers of the World Cup are likely familiar with the “magic spray” that sometimes gets whipped out after a player tumbles to the ground, writhing in pain from a mid-game injury.
The aerosolized substance garners renewed intrigue every so often, when team doctors douse players with it and then send them back into action, seemingly healed. So, how does the spray work, and just how magical is it?
Warm but not brutal evening for play in Qatar
It'll be a summery feel in Qatar for the United States' round-of-16 match against the Netherlands.
The forecast is for 80 degrees at 6 p.m. local time (10 a.m. EST) at Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, when the Americans and Dutch kickoff. It'll be a touch cooler, 77 degrees, by 8 p.m. locally when then final 90-minute whistle likely blows.
The open air stadiums in Qatar have been been fitted with cooling systems, to chagrin of environmentalists.
The World Cup is typically played in June and July when most of the world's major soccer leagues are on between-season breaks. But when the tournament was awarded to Qatar, organizers agreed to move it to November and December to avoid the oppressive desert heat.
Christian Pulisic cleared to play against Netherlands after game injury
U.S. forward Christian Pulisic has been cleared to play in the team’s round-of-16 game against the Netherlands, the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team announced Friday.
Pulisic, 24, sustained a pelvic contusion relatively early in Tuesday’s match after he careened into Iran’s goalkeeper, Alireza Beiranvand, while scoring the game’s only goal.
The USMNT had described Pulisic’s status after the game as day-to-day.
U.S. looking for a rare World Cup quarterfinal appearance
An American upset over the Netherlands would bring coach Gregg Berhalter's men to the quarterfinals and a stage rarely occupied in U.S. soccer history.
The U.S. men’s team made the semifinals of the inaugural World Cup in 1930, finishing third, behind runner-up Argentina and host and champion Uruguay.
The closest the Americans have come since that 1930 run was in 2002, when they made the quarterfinals of that tournament in South Korea and Japan.
Qatar World Cup lays bare the huge environmental cost of tournament
Air conditioning in huge open-air stadiums, hundreds of international flights, lots and lots of lights.
More than a million people have traveled to Qatar for one of the planet’s biggest sporting events. But as it hosts the soccer World Cup, controversy is also descending on the tiny Gulf kingdom.
Alongside concerns over human rights, anti-LGBTQ laws and the treatment of migrant workers — issues that have dogged the tournament for years — critics say Qatar 2022 will be one of the most environmentally damaging of modern times.
Ahead of the tournament, several ecologically minded professional players signed an open letter to FIFA early this month, urging soccer’s global organizing body to ditch its contested claim that the Qatar World Cup is carbon neutral and to review its plans for next year’s Women’s World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Read the full story here.