There’s an outdated saying that seemingly goes: “What the World Cup giveth, it can taketh.” And that is how followers may really feel after seeing the USA’s outstanding run in Qatar finish in heartbreaking trend due to the Netherlands. Meanwhile, Lionel Messi and Argentina withstood a late surge by Australia to ebook a date with the Dutch within the quarterfinals.
Be positive to examine in with ESPN all through the event as we convey you the most recent from Qatar. Here’s what you may need missed from Saturday’s World Cup happenings, and a look forward to Sunday for what’s subsequent.
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USA lose to the Netherlands: Is it 2026 but?
Not the easiest way to begin a Saturday morning, contemplating the United States’ stable type throughout the group stage and the hope of seeing this group of younger gamers at the least attain the quarterfinals.
– World Cup bracket: Netherlands, Argentina arrange QF match
But the Netherlands confirmed the hole in high quality that also exists between the USA and the perimeters they wish to evaluate themselves with. Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal’s tactical recreation plan within the Oranje‘s 3-1 win was ruthlessly efficient, and it compelled the US into errors (leaving gamers unmarked in all three Dutch targets) and to do issues it wasn’t good at (breaking down an organized protection).
Gregg Berhalter talks to Sam Borden after the USMNT’s World Cup exit by the hands of the Netherlands.
Often stoic and at occasions combative, Van Gaal was in a playful temper after Saturday’s win, at one level leaning to his facet to plant a kiss on the cheek of man-of-the-match Denzel Dumfries (one aim, two assists) throughout the postmatch information convention. Van Gaal’s system won’t be probably the most enticing, however it labored so nicely in opposition to the US that two targets concerned one wing-back aiding the opposite — first Dumfries for Daley Blind and then Blind for Dumfries.
Still, there shall be a way of what may have been for the USA. Christian Pulisic muffed an early probability, and the USA’s lone aim from Haji Wright regarded extra unintentional than acrobatic. And after all, because it has been for a while, there’s nonetheless a necessity for an efficient beginning striker to emerge. As US coach Gregg Berhalter stated afterward, “We don’t have a Memphis Depay right now.”
Did the US need to beat a historic powerhouse just like the Dutch, to then face Lionel Messi and Argentina in what would have been a made-for-TV David vs. Goliath quarterfinal matchup? At least, these gamers completed lots. But in 4 video games, in addition they did simply sufficient to depart everybody believing there ought to have been extra.
But let’s transfer ahead. Whether Berhalter continues as coach, the USA’s future is vibrant and the excitement is actual. Lessons shall be realized, expertise shall be gained and there shall be lots to construct upon. We already counting all the way down to the 2026 World Cup.
Messi, Argentina keep away from woe as Australia proved mettle
Deep down, Australia knew that they had little or no probability in Saturday’s spherical of 16 assembly in opposition to Argentina. And after Lionel Messi’s aim within the first half and a goalkeeper gaffe gave Argentina a second with a few half hour to spare, it appeared the Socceroos’ run in Qatar was achieved.
But that is when the true enjoyable started. Australia pinned one again after Enzo Fernandez scored an personal aim and the entire sudden it appeared as if Messi’s quest for that elusive World Cup title may very well be on the ropes. Australia’s Aziz Behich did his finest impression of Messi with a memorizing run that was desperately deflected by defender Lisandro Martinez.
The National Curriculum’s Joshua Parish thinks the Socceroos will encourage a brand new era of Australian soccer followers regardless of World Cup exit.
And then simply seconds left, keeper Emiliano Martinez made the save of the evening on Socceroos teenage star Garang Kuol’s last-gasp try to make sure that Argentina would not comply with fellow conventional powerhouse Germany by the early exit door at this event.
Australia has made its presence identified at this World Cup, as have their followers again house who’ve stayed up all evening to cheer them on. There’s no disgrace in Saturday’s defeat to a participant on a mission like Messi. Just a gaggle of gamers that gave it their all the pieces and fell simply brief.
Sebastian Salazar reacts to an underwhelming Argentina win vs. Australia within the spherical of 16.
England, France on alert in opposition to worthy opponents
Sunday brings two spherical of 16 video games that are massively compelling for wildly totally different causes. Four groups, and solely two can ebook a ticket to the quarterfinals. So how do they give the impression of being?
The earlier recreation sees the defending World Cup champions, France, taking up Robert Lewandowski and Poland. On paper, it would appear to be a simple win for Didier Deschamps’ all-star group that’s nonetheless one of many bookies’ favorites to win all of it regardless of dropping Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante to harm previous to the event. The likes of Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga are holding issues down in midfield, and the trio of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele are getting it achieved on the attacking finish.
While they did wrestle in opposition to Tunisia of their third group stage recreation, in the end dropping 1-0, that was extra all the way down to Deschamps’ heavy rotation of gamers with qualification already safe than an indication of any vital weak point.
Julien Laurens does not maintain again as he rips into Didier Deschamps and the French gamers after their 1-0 loss to Tunisia in Qatar.
Poland might want to lean on their stars in the event that they’re to ruffle French feathers. Lewandowski should get service within the field so he can drive errors or put the ball on the right track, and there are a number of gamers able to choosing out the Barcelona star close to aim: Piotr Zielinski and Arkadiusz Milik are the principle males in that regard. If France handle to breach their protection, Wojciech Szczesny is in aim and appears, based mostly on a few of his highlight-reel saves, to be in peak type. We nonetheless assume France advance, however in a event of main shocks, something’s attainable.
As for England, they will be seeking to keep heading in the right direction for a primary main worldwide trophy since 1966 although profitable Group B hasn’t given them the benefit by way of opponent.
Senegal have not missed a beat regardless of the devastating harm to talisman Sadio Mane earlier than the beginning of the event. Tidy wins in opposition to Qatar and Ecuador have been sufficient to beat a loss to the Dutch of their opening recreation, and they have been capable of finding targets even after dropping Mane: Their 5 targets in Group A have been all scored by totally different gamers, with key defender Kalidou Koulibaly popping up with the decisive end to make sure their spot within the spherical of 16. Many of their stars — together with winger Ismaila Sarr — have Premier League expertise and will not worry their extra fancied opponents one bit.
Tom Hamilton praises the efficiency of Phil Foden in opposition to Wales, saying he is given England supervisor Gareth Southgate a “good headache” for his or her subsequent recreation.
England, in the meantime, must proceed setting the tempo in video games slightly than taking a sluggish and regular method as they did specifically in opposition to the US within the group stage. When they have been passive and invited strain, they have been lucky to not concede, whereas their extra optimistic method in opposition to Iran and Wales resulted in 9 targets scored and simply two conceded. With zero margin of error from right here, supervisor Gareth Southgate should present a bit extra daring in his ways and group choices in the event that they’re to proceed on this competitors.
Harry Kane has been subdued, however Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford have supplied sufficient electrical energy to energy a small metropolis. The England model of Harry Maguire has held up in protection — it is good the Manchester United model did not journey to Doha — however they’ll nonetheless want to point out some gusto and reside as much as the attacking expertise within the squad.
Again, we might count on them to succeed, however simply as seemingly is a 2-2 recreation determined 5-4 on penalties. We’re not going to say who the winner is.
Today’s high reads
Playing at a World Cup and not using a membership? Cristiano Ronaldo and solely few others know
It’s a uncommon group: World Cup gamers and not using a membership to name house. For some it is a distraction; for others, it is motivation.
Playstation, rotating DJs and ‘foot-golf’: How France calm down on the World Cup
Les Bleus are aiming to be repeat champions. But you would not know from visiting their camp that they are feeling any strain.
Spain have been fortunate after Japan defeat, however can they reset forward of Morocco match?
Spain have been lucky to emerge from Group E given the best way Japan fought again to beat them. So different groups know cease La Roja?
Your finest bets (odds by way of Caesars Sportsbook)
If you are seeking to guess on the World Cup, ESPN contributors Paul Carr, Dan Thomas and Dalen Cuff are right here to offer you key tips about odds, choices and futures. Here’s what we’ve for Sunday’s matches.
France (-390) vs. Poland (+1200), Draw (+430)
Carr: France’s loss to Tunisia does not concern me, given the squad rotation and unfamiliarity. Poland was lucky to lose solely 2-0 to Argentina (3.7 xG on 23 photographs) and gave up a ton of fine possibilities to Saudi Arabia, too (1.7 xG on 16 photographs). I feel France cruises right here with the primary group again, and I’ll lay the 1.5 targets at -115.
Cuff: Poland was arguably probably the most unimpressive group to advance to spherical of 16. France’s final loss was with a lineup of reserves. I feel they dominate. The play for me is win to nil -116. I additionally will most likely play Olivier Giroud to attain anytime +120.
England (-195) vs. Senegal (+600), Draw (+290)
Carr: I stay unconvinced by England supervisor Gareth Southgate’s willingness to go for it within the knockout stage. In eight video games over the earlier two tournaments, England put solely two away earlier than the eightieth minute, together with attracts in opposition to opponents Colombia (2018 World Cup) and Denmark (Euro 2020). Senegal is lacking Idrissa Gueye in midfield, however I feel they’ve an honest shot to hold with England at the least by 90 minutes, so I’ll play Senegal on the double probability at +150. If you feel extra daring, I do not thoughts playing them to advance at +360.
Cuff: I really feel just like Paul right here, I performed England to be eradicated in spherical of 16. I simply do not consider on this group and how Southgate units them up. However, I believed their opponent right here can be Ecuador, which gives a distinct problem than Senegal. I feel I’m going to barely hedge right here by not taking part in a facet, however I feel we see extra targets than you’d count on. Over 2.5 +125.
News and notes
Brazil legend Pele is responding nicely to remedy for a respiratory an infection, and his well being situation has not worsened over the previous 24 hours, the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo stated in an announcement Saturday. Pele, 82, has been on the hospital since Tuesday. Get-well messages have poured in from all over the world for the three-time World Cup winner, who can also be present process most cancers remedy.
Lionel Messi achieved all types of milestones in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Australia on Saturday that booked the Albiceleste a quarterfinal date in opposition to the Netherlands. He reached 1,000 skilled matches, and additionally moved handed Diego Maradona’s World Cup targets tally. With eight targets throughout his 5 World Cups, Messi wants another to tie with Gabriel Batistuta for Argentina’s all-time report on the event.
Brazil have suffered two extra harm setbacks forward of the World Cup round-of-16 conflict in opposition to South Korea with each striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Alex Telles dominated out of the remainder of the event. Brazil have been hit by the harm bug in Qatar, with Neymar’s standing nonetheless unsure due to an ankle concern that made him miss two matches thus far.
England captain Harry Kane stated he is able to peak within the World Cup knockout levels after tailoring his conditioning to achieve optimum match health. The 29-year-old has not scored but within the event however has three assists to his identify thus far in Qatar. Kane gained the Golden Boot on the 2018 event, however 5 of his six targets got here within the group stage earlier than England have been overwhelmed by Croatia within the semifinals.