World Cup – Round of 16 – NED vs USA / ARG vs AUS

The first two matches of the World Cup’s Round of 16 have been played in Qatar. The Netherlands faced the United States, while Messi and his Argentinian teammates faced Australia.

M. Depay 10′
D. Blind 45′
D. Dumfries 81′
H. Wright 76′

Location: Khalifa International Stadium, Doha
Referee: Wilton Pereira Sampaio, Brazil

Manager: L. van Gaal
Subs: T. Koopmeiners 46′, S. Bergwijn 46′, X. Simons 83′, M. de Ligt 90′, W. Weghorst 90′

Manager: G. Berhalter
Subs: G. Reyna 46′, B. Aaronson 67′, H. Wright 67′, D. Yedlin 75′, J. Morris 90′

Even though some parts of the statistics might indicate that the United States were the better team at times, the truth is that Louis van Gaal had a plan for this game and he executed it perfectly, always being one step in front of his American counterpart.

Depay opened the scoring early on, only for Blind to double the lead right before half time. Wright pulled one back for the US, but Danzen Dumfries made it 3 for Netherland. The Dutch finished with an xG of 1.67, compared to 1.49 from the Americans, who actually had 6 more shots.

The USA is eliminated, the Netherlands will face Argentina in the Quarter Finals!

L. Messi 35′
J. Alvarez 57′
E. Fernandez – own goal77′

Location: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan
Referee: Szymon Marciniak, Poland

Manager: L. Scaloni
Subs: L. Martinez 50′, L. Martinez 71′, N. Tagliafico 71′, E. Palacios 80′, G. Montiel 80′

Manager: G. Arnold
Subs: A. Hrustic 58′, C. Goodwin 58′, G. Kuol 72′, F. Karacic 72′, J. Maclaren 72′

Argentina dominated most of the match versus Australia. They had more possession(61%), a higher xG(1.61 versus 0.21), shots, chances and the eye test as well. At the end it was closer than it should have been though.

Messi scored in the first half(25′) to give Argentina the lead and Julian Alvarez made it two, after an error by Aussie goalkeeper, Matt Ryan. Australia crawled one back, thanks to an own goal and they had a few more chances until the end, but couldn’t equalise.

Argentina to face the Netherlands in the Quarter Final, Australia are eliminated.