2022 World Cup Round of 16 recap; Netherlands & Argentina advance

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On the first day of the 2022 men’s World Cup, the Netherlands, and Argentina were able to care of business against the USA and Australia respectively. Here’s a look back at how these two nations made it to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

World Cup
Lionel Messi of Argentina celebrates his goal during the FIFA World Cup match Australia v Argentina on December 3, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. (Photo by Fotoarena/Imago/Icon Sportswire)

World Cup Round of 16: Netherlands and Argentina on to quarter-finals

World Cup Round of 16: Netherlands 3 – 1 USA

In the first match of the knockout rounds, winners of Group A Netherlands took on runners-up of Group B the United States. The Netherlands is known to be a possession-based style that can lull teams to sleep with their passing and then find a lethal strike. In this match, they went away from their roots allowing the USA to have possession.

The United States looked good in the 2022 World Cup by getting their fast and skilled midfielders and outside backs on the ball to create chances. The problem for them was that they were not finding enough chances to score through this style of play, and it took a toll on those players who created the attacks. This was evident in the 10th minute of the match as the Netherlands dispossessed the USA and then exploited the space they left on the counter-attack; 20 passes later and one calmly taken chance and the Dutch were up 1-0.

The Netherlands produced a very similar sequence just before halftime to make it 2-0. This doomed the USA, even though they tried to make some personnel changes to get their best-attacking players on the field. They found a miraculous goal with 15 minutes left to make it 2-1, but another sloppy defensive mistake allowed the Netherlands to find a third goal in the 80th minute. The match would end 3-1.

The Netherlands move on to the quarter-finals, and the USA got knocked out after just barely meeting their expectations.


Would Cup Round of 16: Argentina 2 – 1 Australia

The second game of the day showcased mighty Argentina and underdog Australia. On paper, this match should have been no contest. Argentina is a power in world football, and Australia is no match for their tactics and the way play the beautiful game. That is why the Soccer-roos had to make the game a little less beautiful to get on the same level as Argentina.

The match opened up and it was clear that Argentina wanted to hold the ball and use it to create smart and lethal attacks. Australia’s approach was to dispossess them in the midst of that attack and hoof it up the field to one of their few attackers to create a moment of brilliance. They did a good job of stopping Argentina for a while, but then the GOAT Lionel Messi pulled off a great move.

He twisted and turned from a wide to make it to Australia’s box, played a quick one-two with a teammate, and then virtually passed the ball from near the top of the box into the bottom corner. It was 1-0 at the half, and they weren’t done. Julian Alvarez pounced on an Australia mistake to make it 2-0 early in the second half. The Soccer-roos didn’t go away though. They forced an own goal in the 77th minute and pushed until the end to find an equalizer. They fell short but were so so close.

Argentina moved on to the quarters, and Australia headed home after a dream run.


Netherlands vs Argentina in quarter-finals

The Netherlands and Argentina will meet in the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup. Will we see the Dutch put on another masterclass in tactics? Or will Messi’s quest to win a World Cup with Argentina continue?

  • Kickoff time: Friday, Dec. 9, 2 pm ET

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