Netherlands have become the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup.
Denzel Dumfries put in a sparkling perfromance as the Dutch saw off a spirited second half from USA to win 3-1 on Saturay.
First-half goals from Memphis Depay (10) and Daley Blind (45+1), swept home in similar fashion from Dumfries crosses, put the Dutch in control. But USA forced both the Inter Milan defender and Cody Gakpo to clear off the line before Haji Wright produced an “impossible” 76th-minute finish to set up a big finale.
Standout performer Dumfries ended their hopes of a dramatic turnaround, though, volleying in Blind’s cross in the 83rd minute to secure the victory.
USA had been boosted by Christian Pulisic being passed fit to play but the Chelsea forward wasted a glorious opening just three minutes in, shooting at Andries Noppert when clean through.
From then on, the Netherlands soaked up pressure well through the first half and repeatedly threatened on the counter-attack – an effective tactical ploy from Dutch boss Louis van Gaal, whose sole defeat in his 11 World Cup matches in charge to date came on penalties against Argentina in 2014.