Imperturbable in defense and devilishly efficient in attack. At the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Holland have once again applied the recipe of Louis Van Gaal, the same one that had enabled the coach to take his team to the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.
And as in Brazil, the Dutch could cross paths with Argentina in the quarter-finals, who had denied them a final eight years ago. The Albiceleste meet Australia at 20:00.
It was two cogs that already set the Dutch machinery in motion in 2014 that allowed the Netherlands to win: striker Memphis Depay and defender Daley Blind, who each received a cross at the withdrawal of Denzel Dumfries.
Depay opened the scoring after a great collective movement from the Oranje, where he acted as a relay and then as a finisher on the penalty spot (10th), where he scored his first goal since September 17. After that Blind imitated him by crossing his shot with his right foot again in the same spot (45.+1).
Twice fit, Dumfries then became a scorer (81st) by taking a cross from … Blind, to extinguish the last hopes of Team USA, born from a very lucky goal scored by incoming Haji Wright (76th) after a pass from Christian Pulisic.
Nothing helped, these Hollands did not tremble; they could even have added to the scoring in the second period by being more accurate, and regardless of the criticism that Van Gaal and his 5-3-2 generate at home.
” In 2014 it was exactly the same, it was very negativehad replied the coach before the meeting. Same today, still the same story, so I’m used to it and I think my players are used to it too. We continue quietly on the path we have set out on. »
So don’t expect to see these mechanical Oranje break out of their cold, sometimes restrictive style of play next time around.. Especially when the phenomenon Cody Gakpo (three goals), the ghost Depay (two months without playing before the World Cup) and the unsustainable Dumfries spark in this system.
Team USA tried to stop the Dutch machine, to no avail. But during this World Cup, the young team of Gregg Berhalter showed great promise that they will confirm at the next World Cup, which will take place partly in the United States.
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