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World Cup 2022 in review: Day 14 - Netherlands and Argentina set up 1978 final rematch after wins over USA and Australia as Lionel Messi scores on his 1,000 career appearance
A daily report from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - reviewing the best goals, saves, quotes and moments of magic from the day’s matches.
Netherlands showed their class in ending the USA's World Cup dream, while Argentina made distinctly heavy weather of Australia before defeating the Socceroos 2-1. Now the two titans of world football face each in the quarter-finals on Friday in Lusail.
Here's how both games unfolded...
The day’s results
Netherlands 3-1 USA
Argentina 2-1 Australia
Netherlands 3-1 USA
The Netherlands booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with victory over the USA.
Inside three minutes though, Christian Pulisic, who had recovered from the injury he suffered in the last game against Iran, was denied by a smart stop from Andries Noppert after Tyler Adams hoisted the ball through to him.
However, despite the USA dominating the early stages, the Netherlands took the lead on 10 minutes with a dizzying 20-pass move upfield that culminated in Denzel Dumfries cutting the ball for Memphis Depay to sweep home.
Adams and Pulisic combined again as Gregg Berhalter’s men looked to mount a response, but the Chelsea attacker’s cross into the box flicked off the heel of Virgil van Dijk, while at the other end, Daley Blind skied from Cody Gakpo’s lay-off.
Timothy Weah stung the palms of Noppert and Van Dijk blocked Sergino Dest’s effort before the Stars and Stripes were struck by a sucker-punch which was in many similar to the first goal as Denzel Dumfries received the ball closed to the byline and produced a precise cutback that was converted coolly, expect this time by Blind.
Noppert had to be alert shortly after the restart to smother Tim Ream’s flick on the occasion of the centre-back’s 50th cap.
Berhalter introduced Gio Reyna, Brenden Aaronson and Haji Wright, but it was Matt Turner who was the next goalkeeper to be tested, getting down low to keep out Teun Koopmeiners before springing up to stop Depay’s headed follow-up.
Depay was almost left red-faced when his sloppy backpass was intercepted by Wright, before Dumfries got back on his line to clear.
However, Wright made amends for that wastefulness, produced a neat backheel flick from Pulisic’s cross which looped high in the air into Noppert’s far corner.
The game was over as a contest though when this time it was Blind who was the provider, swinging over a cross that found Dumfries all alone at the back post and the Inter wing-back cushioned his volley beyond Turner.
Louis van Gaal’s men will next face Argentina or Australia in the last eight.
Argentina 2-1 Australia
Lionel Messi marked his 1,000th senior appearance for club and country with his 789th goal.
Papu Gomez fired a speculative effort over on 17 minutes, but much of the first half was characterised by lots of Argentina possession without any real cutting edge.
However, Messi brought the match to life on 35 minutes when he pushed Nicolas Otamendi's lay-off out of his feet and found Maty Ryan's far corner.
Graham Arnold will have no doubt warned his side about staying vigilant early in the second half, so it came as a bitter blow when Ryan found himself closed down by Rodrigo De Paul and Julian Alvarez on 57 minutes and the former Brighton and Arsenal goalkeeper lost his footing at the worst possible moment, losing possession and leaving Alvarez with the simplest of finishes.
Messi was at his wondrous best at times as the Albiceleste looked in complete in control, with Marcos Acuna's glorious just evading the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.
However, against the run of play, Craig Goodwin helped halve the deficit with around 15 minutes of normal time remaining, collecting Otamendi's poor clearance and hitting a shot that deflected off Enzo Fernandez's raised right arm to wrongfoot Emiliano Martinez.
A sensational mazy dribble by Dundee United left-back Aziz Behich almost resulted in an improbable equaliser before Lisandro Martinez shut the door, while Lautaro Martinez and Messi threatened at the other end.
At the death, soon-to-be Newcastle United teenager Garang Kuol swivelled in the Argentina box, but his low strike was smothered by Aston Villa's Martinez, with the save greeted joyously by his team-mates.
Goal of the day
Memphis Depay - Netherlands
Despite the USA dominating the opening exchanges at the Khalifa International Stadium, the Netherlands showed their class with a sweeping 20-pass move, with Denzel Dumfries picking up the perfect final ball for Memphis Depay to finish in style.
Save of the day
Matt Turner - USA
Despite warming the bench at Arsenal, Matt Turner didn't show any signs of rustiness at the World Cup and acquitted himself well, making an excellent double save to first keep out Teun Koopmeiners' drive from outside the box and then reacting quickly to repel Memphis Depay's headed follow-up.
Player of the day
Denzel Dumfries - Netherlands
A constant threat down the right-hand side, the Inter wing-back proved a handful for Antonee Robinson all afternoon.
The 26-year-old produced measured pull-backs for Memphis Depay and Daley Blind to score the first two goals, and then he found himself in the right place and the right time at the back post to convert unmarked and end the game as a contest.
- Lionel Messi now has 22 major tournament goals, level with a certain Cristiano Ronaldo.
- The Netherlands' opener against the USA followed a 20-pass move, the longest such build-up for a World Cup goal for the Oranje.
Quote of the day
BBC Sport pundit and Lionel Messi's former Argentina team-mate Pablo Zabaleta on the rather simple approach that has often paid dividends for the South Americans:
"Pass the ball to Messi - that's all we need to do!"
Image of the day
Said on social
Sunday 4 December:
Round of 16
France vs Poland - 3pm KO
England vs Senegal - 7pm KO