Fri, 03 Feb 2023

The Dutch show the Americans the importance of putting the ball in the net and Australia succumb to the wonders of Messi.

Moment to go?

Might United States coach Gregg Berhalter be on his way after just over four years in charge of the squad? He's led them to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup and the last-16 at the 2022 World Cup where the 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands showed them what's needed to develop as a major footballing force: score more goals than the opposition. "For the last month or so I've been only focused on the World Cup and focused on achieving things with this group and in the next couple of weeks I'll sit down and think about what's next."

Moments to come

United States coach Gregg Berhalter may well depart. If he does, there's a clear line of where to progress. Up front. The United States dominated the ball against the Netherlands but could not crystallise that supremacy with goals. "I think we're a difficult team to play because of the intensity of how we play and the ball movement," explained Berhalter. "But when you look at the difference between us and the Netherlands, there was some offensive finishing quality that they had and we didn't ... but we have a young group and that's stuff is going to come."

Man talk

It's not just the US coach Gregg Berhalter who believes big things are a-coming. Denzel Dumfries, who was voted man-of-the-match for setting up two of the Dutch goals and scoring one himself, said: "I think the United States have a great deal of talent," said the Inter Milan defender. "They have energy and cover big distances. They can look forward to a wonderful future. I think they could grow into an elite team."

Pride of a nation Part I

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal was in buoyant spirits after seeing his side move into the last eight. And why not? He waxed lyrical about the team. Asked to comment about man-of-the-match Dumfries, van Gaal said: "Denzel knows full well how proud I am of him. Yesterday or the day before I gave him a big fat kiss ... and now I'm going to give him another big fat kiss so that everybody can see ...(big fat kiss on the top of the player's head) ... there you go." Don't play badly Denzel.

Pride of a nation Part II

"One of the greatest ever," said Australia coach Graham Arnold of Lionel Messi's pyrotechnics following the 2-1 defeat at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. "We really worked hard not to be in awe of him ... but he's remarkable," added Arnold. "I had the privilege of playing against Diego Maradona and now coaching against Lionel Messi on a few occasions. They're both wonderful players and Argentina should be so proud and happy that they've got players of that calibre."

Originally published on RFI

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