Sports News

FIFA World Cup

Qatar FIFA World Cup: Netherlands vs USA; who will be knocked out tonight?
sokapro-Qatar FIFA World Cup: Netherlands vs USA; who will be knocked out tonight?

It will be a very competitive match at the Khalifa International Stadium as The Netherlands takes on the USA in the first round of 16 match of the Qatar FIFA World Cup.

The Netherlands and the USA will meet at the Khalifa International Stadium in what will be the first knockout clash of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup competitions. Louis Van Gaal's side topped group A while the USA finished second in group B leading to the meet-up today. A minor blip against Ecuador proved to be nothing more than a minor blip for the Netherlands, who were widely expected to advance to the last 16 as Group A winners and did not let the Oranje faithful down, taking seven points from their three matches. With his well-taken opening goal against Qatar on Tuesday, Cody Gakpo became just the fourth player in Netherlands history to score in three straight World Cup games. Frenkie de Jong also contributed with a tap-in to guarantee a first-place finish and send the hosts home empty-handed and without a point. 

Concerns have arisen over the Netherlands' style of play at this World Cup as they only have 8 shots on target so far. Louis Van Gaal has, however, dismissed such worries as the South Africa 2010 World Cup runners-up prepare to tackle the world cup knock-out rounds once again. The Netherlands have progressed to the last 16 of every world cup ever since they played their first in 1930 and have only been eliminated at this stage twice, in 1990 and 2006. The Netherlands have amassed an impressive 18-game unbeaten streak across all competitions since their elimination from Euro 2020 at the hands of the Czech Republic. Van Gaal is now out to record an 11th World Cup game without defeat - going level with second-place Mario Zagallo and one behind the all-time record of 12 held by Felipe Scolari.

Christian Pulisic, the star player for the USA, put his body on the line for the squad, suffering an injury that necessitated hospitalization, after scoring the game's lone goal in their last Group B match against Iran to advance his country to the knockout rounds of football's most prestigious competition. When Pulisic sprinted into space and scored from close range in the 38th minute, Gregg Berhalter's team was able to move ahead of Iran and into second place behind England, setting up a tantalizing clash with the Dutch. 

The USA also advanced to the round of 16 in 2010 and 2014 before being eliminated, and they most recently made it to the quarterfinals in 2002. However, recent world cup experience versus European nations does not favor Berhalter's team. In fact, the USA hasn't defeated a UEFA team at a World Cup since 2002; instead, they've drawn with them six times and lost five times. Additionally, the USA's three prior World Cup knockout matches against European teams have all ended in defeat. Victory over Iran also marked the first win in six matches across all tournaments for the Stars and Stripes. The USA have lost four friendly games with the Netherlands but they have recorded an impressive 4-3 win against them as recently as 2015.

The match is expected to be hard fought but the Netherlands will emerge victorious over the USA in the end.

(Image: Khel now)