Louis van Gaal says USMNT didn’t ‘adapt or adjust’ to Holland’s tactics of targeting the wide areas as his Dutch team outclassed Americans and wing-back Denzel Dumfries starred
Holland manager Louis van Gaal revealed his view of the USA’s decision-making after beating them 3-1 on Saturday, as the former Bayern Munich and Manchester United coach said the opposing side did not ‘adapt or adjust’.
The Dutch went ahead within just 10 minutes after Memphis Depay converted a low cross from right wingback Denzel Dumfries, and it wasn’t the only time that blueprint was used in the match.
Dumfries found his left side counterpart Daley Blind in the box just moments before halftime to double the lead, in a virtual carbon-copy of Depay’s opener.
Louis van Gaal’s Holland were impressive in a 3-1 World Cup last-16 win over the USA
And Blind returned the favor to Dumfries with a looping ball in the 81st minute as the latter put the game beyond reach.
After Dumfries was awarded with Man of the Match honors, Van Gaal spoke on the USA’s gameplan that allowed Holland to advance.
‘Team USA didn’t adjust, they didn’t adapt,’ he said. ‘We based a tactical plan on that [targeting the flanks] that probably allowed us to win.’
Meanwhile, the USA spurned numerous chances in the match, including a Christian Pulisic one-on-one with Dutch keeper Andries Noppert in the third minute that was saved.
Christian Pulisic was unable to convert an early chance to give the USMNT the lead
Gregg Berhalter bemoaned his team’s lack of a top striker after the loss to Holland
That absence of composure and finesse in the final third was not lost on USA coach Gregg Berhalter after the match.
‘What I would say is, when you look at the difference, to me there was offensive quality that the Netherlands had that we’re lacking a little bit,’ he said.
‘It’s normal. We have a young group, players beginning their careers and we’ll catch up to that, but we don’t have a Memphis Depay right now, who plays at Barcelona and has played in the Champions League for years. Those are not excuses, that stuff is going to come.’
Berhalter consoles his players after the knockout defeat by Holland in Qatar on Saturday
While the road is now over for the USMNT, Holland will begin preparations for their quarterfinal vs. Argentina on Friday after Lionel Messi and Co. beat Australia 2-1 later in the day.
And despite a comfortable result vs. the USA, Van Gaal issued a warning to his team ahead of the clash vs. one of the tournament favorites.
‘In the first half we were dispossessed so much and it was not necessary,’ he said.
‘That’s simply not acceptable at a World Cup. If you play top-notch countries, you simply can’t make those mistakes.’