The United States were put to the sword by fine Dutch football as Louis van Gaal’s men progressed to the quarter-finals of the World Cup with a 3-1 victory.
It was two former Manchester United stars, Memphis Depay and Daley Blind, who also found the net, as the pair put the Dutch within blast of the quarter-finals in the opening 45 minutes.
USA had had the better start of the two sides, with Chelsea star Christian Pulisic missing a glorious chance to put the Stars and Stripes ahead in the opening 10 minutes.
But soon the Americans – who hadn’t found themselves in a losing position the entire tournament until that draw – fell behind.
Depay, who had an opportunity moments before, received the ball from Denzel Dumfries on the edge of the box before smashing it into the bottom left corner of Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner’s goal.
The Dutch striker scored just two Premier League goals during a torrid spell at Old Trafford – but now has 42 in 84 appearances for his country.
Former England striker and match commentator Dean Ashton said: “Honestly, USA, it’s amazing how much the goal affected them.
“They were constantly pressing at the start, now they’ve slowed down.”
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Then, as the clock neared half-time, Dumfries again delivered a delightful pass, clipping the ball to another former Red Devils star, Blind.
The Dutch defender’s career at Man United was slightly better than Depay’s and he lasted four years at the club, making 90 Premier League appearances.
“Ah, that’s a carbon copy of the first goal,” Ashton said.
“Dumfries fires a right from the penalty spot and Blind did it perfectly, with his weaker right foot sliding it calmly past the goalkeeper.”
With former United boss Van Gaal pulling the strings, Red Devils supporters must have wondered where it stood in 2016 when the Dutch manager coached Depay and Blind at Old Trafford!
The United States managed to draw the tie to 2-1 in the second half, but Dumfries quickly restored his team’s two-goal cushion, scoring in the 81st minute to bring the Americans down.
The Netherlands will now face the winners of Saturday night’s other round of 16 match Argentina v Australia, which you can listen to live on talkSPORT.
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