A fascinating World Cup 2022 quarter-final that promises goals takes place at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Friday evening, when the Netherlands battle with Argentina.
Cody Gakpo’s hot streak in front of goal may have ended against the USA, but Van Gaal’s effervescent wing-backs shouldered the goalscoring weight in Saturday’s last-16 fight when the USA failed to capitalise on a fast start and were punished for it.
While Haji Wright’s unconventional flick gave the USA some hope, Denzel Dumfries delivered identical assists for similar goals for Memphis Depay and Daley Blind in the first half. Blind then turned provider for Dumfries, who volleyed home unopposed to end the game.
Not since 1994 have the 2010 runners-up failed to win a quarter-final match at the World Cup, and the Netherlands’ unbeaten record in all competitions now stands at a massive 19 games. Still, something has to give when two attacking heavyweights struggle for supremacy.
Netherlands World Cup Form: W D W W
Only five teams remain undefeated in the World Cup:
Just as expected 😅 pic.twitter.com/S5I1SIDxdS
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 2, 2022
The story had been set for Lionel Messi to escape his knockout jinx in his 1,000th career match, and the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner managed to score his first non-group stage World Cup goal in true Messi fashion against Australia.
The Paris Saint-Germain veteran netted with a powerful finish before Julian Alvarez robbed Mathew Ryan of the ball for Argentina’s second. Craig Goodwin’s deflected strike gave Australia hope of an impossible comeback.
Argentina most recently advanced from the quarter-finals to finish runners-up in 2014, but they had lost their previous three ties in the last eight in 1998, 2006, and 2010, and their chances of success had been dashed nine times in a row since the original 1930 edition.
Argentina World Cup Form: L W W W
NETHERLANDS VS. ARGENTINA IN THE QUARTERFINALS 🚨🍿 pic.twitter.com/5NqmWB4p2F
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 3, 2022
Before defeating the United States, Jeremie Frimpong (ankle) gave the Netherlands a momentary worry, but Van Gaal should also have everyone available for the quarter-final. The Bayer Leverkusen right-back was a member of a fully-fit squad for that match.
Stefan de Vrij, a central defender for Inter Milan, was unable to train on Sunday due to discomfort. Still, he has rejoined the team to challenge the existing hierarchy of Nathan Ake, Virgil van Dijk, and Jurrien Timber.
As far as Argentina is concerned, Sevilla attacker Papu Gomez limped off with a sprained ankle in the 50th minute against Australia and is a worry for the battle.
Still, Angel Di Maria is pushing up his rehabilitation from a quadriceps ailment and should be fit to replace his stricken colleague. Rodrigo De Paul is likewise fine despite a bit of muscle weariness.
Netherlands possible starting lineup:
Noppert; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Jong, De Roon, Blind; Klaassen; Gakpo, Depay
Argentina’s possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; Fernandez, De Paul, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez
Messi's 1,000th game ends in a W for Argentina 🐐
Next stop: The Quarterfinals 👀🔜 pic.twitter.com/uttVbQQnp9
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) December 3, 2022
Head to Head
The Netherlands have a minor edge over Argentina and have won four out of the nine matches between the two nations, as opposed to Argentina’s three victories.
Argentina and the Netherlands will now face off seven times in the FIFA World Cup, making this matchup the third-most frequently contested in the tournament’s history.
The most recent encounter between the two groups was in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semifinals, with Argentina winning on penalties.
The last two encounters between Argentina and the Netherlands have produced 0-0 stalemates in the regular 90 minutes.
Time, Date & Place
Date: Friday, December 9
Time: 7:00 pm, GMT
Place: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
The Netherlands and Argentina have frequently played to stalemates during World Cup matches, and we anticipate that trend to remain the same here.
As a result, Scaloni’s team might need to rely on extra time to advance to a matchup with Croatia or Brazil in the semifinals.
Netherlands 1 – 2 Argentina (a. e. t.)