The Netherlands looked poor during the group stages but showed their quality and clinical edge on Saturday, with three goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries.
Haji Wright pulled one back for the USMNT in the second half with his side trailing 2-1, but any hope of a comeback was confirmed by Dumfries’ 81st-minute Dutch victory.
US President Biden expressed pride in the USMNT’s performance in the World Cup following the team’s defeat, with the next World Cup to be held in 2026 in the United States and Canada and Mexico.
“Guys, you made us proud. We’re up and going,” Biden tweeted. “Here’s to a bright future and 2026 is here again.”
The USMND had more shots on goal than the Netherlands, but again the lack of a proven goal scorer proved costly for Greg Berhalter’s young team.
This is the USMND’s youngest starting XI for a World Cup knockout tournament as they line up to face the Netherlands, aiming to reach the quarterfinals for the second time in the modern era.
Berhalter’s side controlled the opening exchanges, finding space behind the Dutch defense and Christian Pulisic had an early chance. Orange Goalkeeper Andreas Nobert saved the Chelsea forward’s shot from goal.
Soaking up that early pressure, the Netherlands then counter-attacked with alarming precision.
After carving into the USMND midfield, Cody Kagbo found Dumfries on the edge of the box, who pulled the ball to Debe. The Barcelona forward completed a sweeping move, firing the ball into the net.
The USMNT continued to press – a Timothy Weah strike was scored by Noppert and Sergino Test made several stunning runs – but could not find a way past the Dutch defence.
Then, on the sidelines of the break, the Netherlands doubled their lead as he blindly rifled in Dumfries’ cross in an almost identical move to his first goal.
Immediately after the break, the USMNT almost pulled a goal back when the ball bounced into the box from a corner and Tim Ream headed it inches from the goal-line, but the Netherlands prevailed.
USMND goalkeeper Matt Turner almost had a goal prevented as he made a double save to stop two consecutive strikes and revive his team’s fading hopes of reaching the quarterfinals.
His quick reflexes were still crucial moments later when the USMNT finally pounced on Wright Pulisic’s cross, scoring his effort over Norbert’s head.
The noise in the stadium, packed with American fans, briefly became deafening, but minutes later Dumfries scored from a Frenkie de Jong cross to seal victory for the Netherlands.
With that goal, Dumfries became the first Dutchman to be directly involved in more than three goals in a single World Cup match since 1978, according to statistics website OptaJoe.
USMND star Christian Pulisic said he was “really proud” of the team’s performance at the World Cup.
“I hope we showed a lot of people what we can do,” Pulisic told Fox’s Jenny Taft. “We have qualified a lot from this tournament. At the end of the day, we couldn’t do it, but I think we have a lot to be proud of.
“It hurts a lot right now,” Pulisic said. “We thought we could step up and do a lot more at this point, but I love these guys, it’s a special group we have.”
The Netherlands now advance to the quarter-finals, where they will face either Argentina or Australia on Friday.