Sports

The ‘Industrial Orange’ crushes the United States

Qatar 2022 is over for USA. And also for Concacaf. The most industrial version of ‘A Clockwork Orange’, or better ‘La Mecánica Naranja’, brought down ‘Team USA’ from the World Cup in a duel controlled almost entirely by van Gaal’s men. Wright’s surreal goal came out of the script, but Dumfries, MVP, put the night back on track for the Dutch, the first to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup. There will be better chances for USMNT, luckier ones. They will not have to wait much. House expected in 2026.

Shield/Team Flag
Shield/Team Flag

The initial momentum of ‘Team USA’, marked by the decisive save with the feet of Noppert to Pulisic, Klassen’s qualification on the left flank through, ended up being turned off by a flash of ‘total football’. A fleeting glimpse of what was, of what used to be. Gakpo broke, Dumfries overflowed and Memphis finished off the backward diagonal, letting it come, race and placed, as the canons dictate. Khalifa’s fans, who seemed more like a theatrical audience, reacted with glee at the glimpse of ‘A Clockwork Orange’. “You evolve, you leave defensive football behind to win games,” van Gaal accepted at the press conference the day before. Said and done. Van Gaal has long since kept his silk scarves, violins and brushes almond-shaped by electric saws. Why, if the result can be the same. Epiphanies usually come with age: in football, style is not essential.

The Netherlands then backed down, while continuing to launch Memphis and Gakpo, of course, permanent threats to Dest and Robinson. But van Gaal had a plan: to sleep the game with de Roon and de Jong working as operators. ‘La Naranja Industrial’ masterfully captured the spaces until Musah broke the lines with an uncheck after a pass into space from Adams. That’s where he found a loophole in the United States. One of Musah’s sneaky adventures ended with a well-intentioned but straight-forward shot from Weah into Noppert’s palms, who diligently aborted the threat. Van Gaal took note of the danger. Despite the tactical dominance, the difference was still slim. Dumfries took it upon himself to remedy it. A cloudy handoff ended at his feet, he dominated the left-handed post on Tyler and traced his pass for the first goal, only now it was Blind who came from behind to finish with the same cadence as Memphis: caress with the inner edge of the foot.

Berhalter’s obvious plan was to advance the lines. Play closer to Noppert, at the expense of the risks that that entails. In a raid, Ream finished off with all body parts and Gakpo parried the effort over the line. The Netherlands responded immediately: Gakpo entered Turner’s plots and the ball found Ream, who finished off almost tripping on his own goal. Turner reacted with emergency. But the United States was already flowing, because van Gaal’s line sometimes changed to three members in the rear. Less corseted, the Netherlands let ‘Team USA’ come. At that, McKennie sent the round to the majestic and electronic Aspire Tower.

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Turner began to multiply to keep the party alive. First, frontal bombing by Frenkie de Jong; then, immediately, he withheld the return of Depay’s head with an exchanged hand. Turned into an octopus, Turner led the emboldened American resurrection. Pulisic realized the momentum; He carried the ball until he slipped into Noppert’s area on the right and Wright, just in the game, finished off with an inverted flourish and his foot in an inhuman position. An impossible goal. The ball hit the instep, which was facing the opponent’s goal, and rose in a trajectory that violated all physical laws. Archimedes would have gone mad. And that van Dijk marked him closely. He snorted the United States and believed it possible. The Khalifa fans, too.

An electric shock ran through the stands. For a second, the play was over. That is until Daley Blind dangled the ball from the left, stretched out and aesthetic, and Dumfries blasted it out of the air with that wooden left foot. Turner was left bolted to the lime line. There was no way to rescue ‘Team USA’, who died on the Khalifa court sheltered by the cool Qatari night. By the time they return to a World Cup it will be at home, and it will be another story.

Changes

T. Koopmeiners (45′, Mr. Klaassen), S.Bergwijn (45′, M. De Roon), G. Reyna (45′, Jesus Ferreira), B. Aaronson (66′, T. Weah), H.Wright (66′, W. Mckennie), Mr. Yedlin (74′, S.Dest), xavi simons (82′, Memphis), J. Morris (91′, A.Robinson), M. De Ligt (92′, N.Aké), W. Weghorst (92′, C. Gakpo)

goals

1-0, 9′: Depay2-0, 45′: Daley Blind2-1, 75′: Haji Wright3-1, 80′: Denzel Dumfries

cards

Referee: Wilton Pereira Sampaio
VAR referee: Nicolás Gallo Barragán, Juan Soto Arévalo
Teun Koopmeiners (59′,Yellow) frenkie dejong (86′,Yellow)

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