On Saturday, the Khalifa International Stadium will host the first match of the Round of 16 of the World Cup 2022, featuring the Netherlands and the United States. Here, check out what would happen if the Stars and Stripes triumph in this matchup.
The United States Men’s National Team advanced from Group B but will face Group A champions the Netherlands for the last 16 years at the 2022 World Cup. and more, playing a European powerhouse with World Cup experience is still a rewarding matchup.
By dominating Group A, the Dutch extended their remarkable streak of reaching the round of 16 at every World Cup since 1934. The only World Cups where they did not progress to the knockout rounds were in 1990 and 2006. The Oranje were also unbeaten in the group stage, although at times they struggled to maintain power.
And that was especially true against Ecuador, who, thanks to the pressure they exerted, only escaped by a point. In contrast, Gregg Berhalter’s squad showed they can perform well under pressure in a winner-takes-all game against Iran. Despite the bookies favoring the Netherlands, this is a close encounter in which either side can progress to the quarter-finals.
What would happen if the USMNT beat the Netherlands in the Qatar 2022 Round of 16?
In the event of a victory against the Netherlands, the United States would progress to the tournament’s Quarter-Finals for the first time since 2002. In the Quarter-Finals, they would then play the winner of the Argentina vs Australia encounter. Lionel Messi’s side won Group C with a perfect score of six points, while the Socceroos surprised everyone by coming in second in Group D, matched with France.
If the Stars and Stripes can beat Louis van Gaal’s players on Saturday, December 3, they will have until Friday, December 9 to prepare for their next encounter. Since there will be a five-day break between games, Berhalter will have enough time to prepare for either one of the two possible opponents.
It would be just the third time in the history of the USMNT if they were to progress to the quarters. The last time the United States appeared in a World Cup Quarter-Finals game was exactly two decades ago, back in 2002. They qualified for the last 16 after placing second in their group and then beating Mexico 2-0. Their run, however, ended in the Quarter-Finals as Germany defeated them, 1-0.