The Oranje advanced at the expense of the US, Messi helped beat Australia


The Dutch representatives beat the US 3:1 and were the first quarter-finalists of the World Cup in Qatar. Coach Louis van Gaal’s squad will face either Argentina or Australia for a place in the semifinals on Friday. Their duel is on today’s program from 20:00 CET.

The Oranje took a decisive lead in the first half when Memphis Depay and Daley Blind scored after a pass from Denzel Dumfries. Substitute Haji Wright pulled one back in the 76th minute, but European outfit Dumfries calmed down five minutes later.

The Netherlands have not lost their 19th straight game since last year’s defeat by the Czech side in the last 16 of the Euros, and they have made it to their third successive last 16 at the world championships. At their last participation in the tournament in 2014, they won bronze. The maximum is silver from 1974, 1978 and 2010.

In the World Cup, the United States has only made it in one of five round of 16 rounds (in 2002). Third place from the first championship in 1930 remains their greatest achievement.

The Americans could have taken the lead in the third minute but keeper Noppert stopped Pulisic’s shot with his left foot. In contrast, the Netherlands made no mistake from the first chance and scored in the 10th minute after a successful combination. Dumfries threaded a ball into the box to a completely lone Depay and the Barcelona forward’s shot hit the post, leaving Turner with no chance of making a save. With his 43rd goal, Depay takes second place in the historical ranking of the Netherlands’ top scorers. He was seven goals behind Van Persie’s first goal.

There was no chance for a long time, but before entering the locker room, the Netherlands added to the advantage after similar actions. Dumfries found Blind in the box with another pass and the Ajax midfielder beat Turner with a ground shot.

Early in the second half, after a corner, the ball found Ream, but the American stopper did not finish perfectly from a small area and did not celebrate his 50th international start with a goal. Just across, his defensive partner Zimmerman almost scored an own goal, but keeper Turner poked the ball away. McKennie then shot past the Dutch goal, Depay’s effort was pushed over by Turner. The American goalkeeper also managed to fire substitute Koopmeiners from behind the net.

In the 75th minute, Depay “greased” the ball with a cross to another player who came on from the bench, Wright, who beat Noppert and shot, but Dumfries prevented him from enjoying the goal with a well-timed shot.

But moments later, Wright was waiting, after he intervened in Pulisic’s pass and turned Noppert in with a strange finish. The Americans stepped up their efforts but Dumfries dashed their hopes of an equaliser. The Inter Milan man ran on to Blind’s pass and volleyed at the far post to complete the result.

“Oranje” did not lose against the US in the fifth match out of six rematch, in the previous cases it was always a preparatory duel.

Netherlands – USA 3:1 (2:0)

Goals: 10. Depay, 45.+1 Blind, 81. Dumfries – 76. Wright. Referees: Sampaio – Boschilia, Pires (all Braz.) – Gallo (video, Col.). ŽK: Koopmeiners, F. de Jong (both Dutch). Audience: 44,846.

Dutch: Noppert – Timber, Van Dijk, Aké (90.+3 De Ligt) – Dumfries, De Roon (46. Bergwijn), F. de Jong, Blind – Klaassen (46. Koopmeiners) – Gakpo (90.+3 Weghorst), Depay (82. Simons). Coach: Van Gaal.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Turner – Dest (75. Yedlin), Zimmerman, Ream, Robinson (90.+2 Morris) – Adams – Musah, McKennie (67. Wright) – Weah (67. Aaronson), Ferreira (46. Reyna), Pulisic. Trainer: Halter.

Argentina beat Australia, Messi celebrates his 1000th match with a goal

The favorites Argentina beat Australia 2:1 and became the second quarter-finalist of the World Cup in Qatar. The defending winners of the South American Championship will be playing for a place in the semifinals on Friday against the Netherlands, who beat the United States 3-1 today.

Captain Lionel Messi put Argentina ahead in the 35th minute and celebrated the 1,000th game of his professional career in style. The 35-year-old star striker scored for the first time in the knockout stages of the World Cup and for the third time in the Qatar tournament. Julián Álvarez was lifted shortly after switching sides. Enzo Fernández dramatized the last 16 in the 77th minute with an own goal, but Australia did not create a sensation.

The outsiders defended well at the start and didn’t let Argentina do anything. But Messi took advantage of the first half’s only chance in the 35th minute. He took possession of the ball in the penalty area and beat goalkeeper Ryan with a well-placed ground shot. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner surpassed legendary Diego Maradona with his ninth World Cup goal, and only Gabriel Batistuta (10) has more goals among Argentines.

Out of a thousand competitive matches since October 2004, Messi has played 169 for the Argentina national team, 778 for Barcelona and 53 for current team Paris St. Germaine. During this time he scored 789 goals against 129 different opponents. In addition, the Rosario-born player added 338 assists.

The lackluster match continued early in the second half. Messi got another shot, but this time he couldn’t beat Ryan. However, in the 57th minute, the Australian keeper risked a pass, Álvarez took the ball from him and momentarily calmed the favorite with a shot into an empty net. The Manchester City striker scored for the second time in the tournament.

For Argentina, the road to victory turned out to be a tricky one in the 77th minute, when Fernández headed Goodwin’s shot into his own net. Behich could have equalized soon after individual action, but substitute defender Lisandro Martínez blocked his effort at the last moment.

“Albiceleste” had a lot of pressure and chances in the end. Substitute Lautaro Martínez shot over the crossbar after Messi’s pass in clear position, the Inter Milan striker then failed to shoot past Ryan in a further chance in the set-up. His partner Emiliano Martínez saved Argentina victory just before the end when he selected substitute Kuolo.

Australia’s maximum in the World Cup remained in the round of 16, where the “Socceroos” were knocked out 16 years ago. At this year’s championship, after an initial shock 1:2 loss against Saudi Arabia, Argentina won three in a row.

Argentina – Australia 2:1 (1:0)

Goals: 35. Messi, 57. Álvarez – 77. Fernández’s. Referees: Marciniak – Sokolnicki, Listkiewicz – Kwiatkowski (video, all in Polish). ŽK: Irvine, Degenek (both Australian). Audience: 45,032.

Argentina: E. Martínez – Molina (80. Montiel), Romero, Otamendi, Acuňa (72. Tagliafico) – De Paul, Fernández, Mac Allister (80. Palacios) – Álvarez (71. Lautaro Martínez), Messi, Papu Gómez (50. Lisandro Martinez). Coach: Scaloni.

Australia: Ryan – Degenek (72. Karacic), Souttar, Rowles, Behich – Leckie (72. Kuol), Baccus (58. Hrustic), Mooy, McGree (58. Goodwin) – Duke (72. Maclaren), Irvine. Coach: Arnold.

Roderick Glisson

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