The Netherlands and the USA will commence the World Cup 2022 last-16 phase when they lock horns at the Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Louis van Gaal’s side topped Group A to secure their passage into the knockout stages, while the Stars and Stripes placed second in Group B behind England.

The Netherlands eased into the last 16 by beating hosts Qatar 2-0 as Cody Gakpo became the fourth Dutchman after Johan Neeskens, Dennis Bergkamp and Wesley Sneijder to net in three consecutive World Cup fixtures. His captain Virgil van Dijk believes he can “go to the moon and back” such is his potential, but he’s only got to go to the Khalifa International Stadium next, where they take on the USA.

Finding the net has been no problem for Louis van Gaal’s side, as they’re unbeaten since losing at the same stage of last year’s European Championships (W13, D5) so they’ll want to put those bad memories behind them as they prepare for a first ever competitive H2H against the USA (Friendlies: W4, L1). While the last meeting was a 4-3 defeat in 2015, a similar outcome seems unlikely as they’ve conceded just once across their last five games (W4, D1).

Coincidentally, the 2018 World Cup round of 16 opened with a seven-goal affair (France 4-3 Argentina) but to further dampen hopes of a repeat, Greg Berhalter’s side only scored twice during the group stage (W1, D2), finishing with a highly-charged 1-0 win over Iran. One edge they can claim over the Netherlands is ample recent experience of winning knockout games having produced three straight 1-0 victories to claim last year’s Gold Cup.

Holding England to a 0-0 draw in the group stage should give a youthful USMNT squad, many of whom should feature when they co-host in 2026, renewed belief they can compete with Europe’s finest. Making it this far is something US forward Timothy Weah described as the “stuff of dreams” but they’re not done yet as they target a first World Cup quarter-final appearance since 2002, the last time the tournament was played in Asia.


Date: 03/12/2022
Time: 18:00
Venue: Khalifa International Stadium (Doha)
Pick for this match:
“1” – @ 2.04 ( BETWINNER )

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