Denzel Dumfries was involved in all three goals as he helped the Netherlands produce one of the most comprehensive World Cup scores of the weekend action. First-half goals by Memphis Depay (10) and Daley Blind (45+1), both of which were similarly stroked home from Dumfries crosses, gave the Netherlands the lead. Haji Wright scored an “impossible” goal in the 76th minute to set up an exciting conclusion, but the USA forced the Inter Milan defense and Cody Gakpo to clear off the line first. In the 83rd minute, Dumfries, in a remarkable performance, ended their hopes of a miraculous comeback by volleying in Blind’s cross to secure the victory.
Just after the starting horn, the Netherlands withdrew, giving the USA possession. Even if it almost backfired when Pulisic was brought in and should have converted a one-on-one in the early stages of the game, the opening goal showed the threat of Van Gaal’s team when they rush up the pitch in possession. Due to an accurate and skillfully performed cutback from Dumfries for Depay, the Dutch seized the lead against the early tide of play. Noppert made a nice stop from a Yunus Musah drive as the USA started to gain momentum toward the end of the half, but the underdogs suffered a devastating blow just before the break.
After a brilliant double save from the USA goalkeeper to stop Blind’s shot from the edge of the box and then deflect away Depay’s follow-up, there was soon desperately defending at the other end when Dumfries scrambled away Wright’s goal-bound shot after Steven Bergwijn’s terrible back pass was intercepted. But just two minutes later, Wright scored, snatching the ball off Noppert after a low cross from Pulisic. Depay and Pulisic saw opportunities come and go as the suspenseful climax heated up, but Dumfries put an end to USA’s dreams of a stunning comeback when he tucked Blind’s cross away.
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