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Netherlands 3, US 1 | World Cup

US run at the World Cup comes to an end in 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands

The Americans put up a fight in Al Rayyan, but couldn't get it done and bowed out in the round of 16.Francisco Seco/Associated Press

The United States put up a fight but saw its run at the World Cup end in the Round of 16 on Saturday, as the Americans fell to the Netherlands, 3-1, at Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar.

The Netherlands scored two similar-looking goals in the first half, with cutbacks across the box from right back Denzel Dumfries finding a teammate on both occasions; Memphis Depay fired the opener into the bottom left corner in the 10th minute after a strong start for the US, and Daley Blind produced the same finish in first-half stoppage time to put the Dutch firmly in control at the break.

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Haji Wright came on for the US in the second half and after Wright wasted a huge chance to score from an errant Dutch back pass, Christian Pulisic fired a low cross that deflected off Wright’s heel and looped into the Netherlands’ net in the 76th minute. Wright knew little about it, but it gave the Americans hope.

That hope was quickly extinguished by Dumfries, who gave the US fits all game. It wasn’t the finest moment for the American back line, who lost track of Dumfries at the back post and left the Dutchman wide open to finish a cross from Blind and send the US home.

It’s a frustrating result for an American team that controlled huge portions of the game and often looked the better side, but simply couldn’t finish its chances while the Netherlands was ruthless in front of goal.

Pulisic had a huge chance to give the US a perfect start when he found himself all alone with Dutch keeper Andries Noppert, but he rushed his finish and Noppert stuck out a leg to turn aside Pulisic’s bouncing, left-footed effort.

After Depay gave the Netherlands the lead, it was all US for the remainder of the first half. Despite struggling to create any huge chances, it was one-way traffic until the Americans were sucker-punched when Blind doubled the Dutch lead just before halftime.

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US coach Gregg Berhalter had to go for it at halftime and finally turned to little-used Gio Reyna, whose involvement American fans had clamored for, in place of starting striker Jesus Ferreira. Defender Tim Ream had a chance when the ball fell to him out front, but Ream couldn’t get clean contact on a shot and Cody Gakpo cleared it off the line for the Netherlands.

The Americans continued to dominate the second half until Wright halved the deficit, and while it looked like another goal was coming, the US was living dangerously as it pushed men forward in search of an equalizer. One miscommunication at the back post is all it took, as Dumfries buried the third goal in the 81st minute to kill off the comeback for good.


Amin Touri can be reached at amin.touri@globe.com.