USA fall quick, Argentina keep away from upset, England and France on alert


There’s an outdated saying that doubtless goes: “What the World Cup giveth, it might taketh.” And that is how followers might really feel after seeing the USA’s exceptional run in Qatar finish in heartbreaking vogue due to the Netherlands. In the meantime, Lionel Messi and Argentina withstood a late surge by Australia to ebook a date with the Dutch within the quarterfinals.

You should definitely test in with ESPN all through the match as we convey you the most recent from Qatar. This is what you might need missed from Saturday’s World Cup happenings, and a sit up for Sunday for what’s subsequent.

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USA lose to the Netherlands: Is it 2026 but?

Not one of the best ways to start out a Saturday morning, contemplating the United States‘ stable kind through the group stage and the hope of seeing this group of younger gamers at the least attain the quarterfinals.

– World Cup bracket: Netherlands, Argentina arrange QF match

However the Netherlands confirmed the hole in high quality that also exists between the USA and the edges they need to examine themselves with. Netherlands coach Luis van Gaal’s tactical sport plan within the Oranje‘s 3-1 win was ruthlessly efficient and it compelled the US into errors (leaving gamers unmarked in all three Dutch objectives) and to do issues it wasn’t good at (breaking down an organized protection).



Gregg Berhalter talks to Sam Borden after the USMNT’s World Cup exit by the hands of the Netherlands.

Typically stoic and at occasions combative, Van Gaal was in a playful temper after Saturday’s win, at one level leaning to his facet to plant a kiss on the cheek of man-of-the-match Denzel Dumfries (one purpose, two assists) through the postmatch information convention. Van Gaal’s system is probably not probably the most engaging nevertheless it labored so properly in opposition to the US that two objectives concerned one wing-back helping the opposite — first Dumfries for Daley Blind after which Blind for Dumfries.

Nonetheless, there might be a way of what may have been for the USA. Christian Pulisic muffed an early likelihood, and the USA’s lone purpose from Haji Wright seemed extra unintended than acrobatic. And naturally, because it has been for a while, there’s nonetheless a necessity for an efficient beginning striker to emerge. As US coach Gregg Berhalter mentioned afterward, “We do not have a Memphis Depay proper now.”

Did the US need to beat a historic powerhouse just like the Dutch, to then face Lionel Messi and Argentina in what would have been a made-for-TV David vs. Goliath quarterfinal matchup? Not less than, these gamers achieved lots. However in 4 video games, in addition they did simply sufficient to go away everybody believing there ought to have been extra.

However let’s transfer ahead. Whether or not Berhalter continues as coach, the USA’s future is vibrant and the thrill is actual. Classes might be discovered, expertise might be gained, and there might be lots to construct upon. We already counting all the way down to the 2026 World Cup.

Messi, Argentina keep away from woe as Australia proved mettle

Deep down, Australia knew they’d little or no likelihood in Saturday’s spherical of 16 assembly in opposition to Argentina. And after Lionel Messi‘s purpose within the first half and a goalkeeper gaffe gave Argentina a second with a couple of half hour to spare, it appeared the Socceroos’ run in Qatar was finished.

However that is when the true enjoyable started. Australia pinned one again after Enzo Fernandez scored an personal purpose and the entire sudden it appeared as if Messi’s quest for that elusive World Cup title might be on the ropes. Australia’s Aziz Behich did his finest impression of Messi with a memorizing run that was desperately deflected by defender Lisandro Martinez.



The Nationwide Curriculum’s Joshua Parish thinks the Socceroos will encourage a brand new technology of Australian soccer followers regardless of World Cup exit.

After which simply seconds left, keeper Emiliano Martinez made the save of the night time on Socceroos teenage star Garang Kuol‘s last-gasp try to make sure that Argentina would not observe fellow conventional powerhouse Germany by the early exit door at this match.

Australia has made its presence identified at this World Cup, as have their followers again house who’ve stayed up all night time to cheer them on. There isn’t any disgrace in Saturday’s defeat to a participant on a mission like Messi. Only a group of gamers that gave it their every little thing and fell simply quick.



Sebastian Salazar reacts to an underwhelming Argentina win vs. Australia within the spherical of 16.

England, France on alert in opposition to worthy opponents

Sunday brings two spherical of 16 video games which can be massively compelling for wildly completely different causes. 4 groups, and solely two can ebook a ticket to the quarterfinals. So how do they appear?

The sooner sport sees the defending World Cup champions, France, taking over Robert Lewandowski and Poland. On paper, it’d seem to be a straightforward win for Didier Deschamps’ all-star workforce that’s nonetheless one of many bookies’ favorites to win all of it regardless of dropping Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante to harm previous to the match. The likes of Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga are holding issues down in midfield and the trio of Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele are getting it finished on the attacking finish.

Whereas they did battle in opposition to Tunisia of their third group stage sport, finally dropping 1-0, that was extra all the way down to Deschamps’ heavy rotation of gamers with qualification already safe than an indication of any vital weak spot.



Julien Laurens does not maintain again as he rips into Didier Deschamps and the French gamers after their 1-0 loss to Tunisia in Qatar.

Poland might want to lean on their stars in the event that they’re to ruffle French feathers. Lewandowski should get service within the field so he can pressure errors or put the ball on course, and there are a number of gamers able to selecting out the Barcelona star close to purpose: Piotr Zielinski and Arkadiusz Milik are the primary males in that regard. If France handle to breach their protection, Wojciech Szczesny is in purpose and appears, primarily based on a few of his highlight-reel saves, to be in peak kind. We nonetheless assume France advance, however in a match of main shocks, something’s doable.

As for England, they’re going to be seeking to keep on the right track for a primary main worldwide trophy since 1966 although successful Group B hasn’t given them the benefit when it comes to opponent.

Senegal have not missed a beat regardless of the devastating harm to talisman Sadio Mane earlier than the beginning of the match. Tidy wins in opposition to Qatar and Ecuador was sufficient to beat a loss to the Dutch of their opening sport, they usually’ve been capable of finding objectives even after dropping Mane: their 5 objectives in Group A had been all scored by completely different gamers, with key defender Kalidou Koulibaly popping up with the decisive end to make sure their spot within the spherical of 16. A lot of their stars — together with winger Ismaila Sarr — have Premier League expertise and will not concern their extra fancied opponents one bit.



Tom Hamilton praises the efficiency of Phil Foden in opposition to Wales, saying he is given England supervisor Gareth Southgate a “good headache” for his or her subsequent sport.

England, in the meantime, have to proceed setting the tempo in video games moderately than taking a gradual and regular method as they did particularly in opposition to the US within the group stage. Once they had been passive and invited strain, they had been lucky to not concede, whereas their extra constructive method in opposition to Iran and Wales resulted in 9 objectives scored and simply two conceded. With zero margin of error from right here, supervisor Gareth Southgate should present a bit extra daring in his ways and workforce alternatives in the event that they’re to proceed on this competitors.

Harry Kane has been subdued however Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford have supplied sufficient electrical energy to energy a small metropolis. The England model of Harry Maguire has held up in protection — good job the Manchester United model did not journey to Doha — however they’ll nonetheless want to point out some gusto and stay as much as the attacking expertise within the squad.

Once more, we would count on them to succeed, however simply as doubtless is a 2-2 sport determined 5-4 on penalties. We’re not going to say who the winner is.

At this time’s prime reads

Taking part in at a World Cup with no membership? Cristiano Ronaldo and solely few others know
It is a uncommon group: World Cup gamers with no membership to name house. For some it is a distraction; for others, it is motivation.

Ps, rotating DJs, and ‘foot-golf’: How France calm down on the World Cup
Les Bleus are aiming to be repeat champions. However you would not know from visiting their camp that they are feeling any strain.

Spain had been fortunate after Japan defeat, however can they reset forward of Morocco match?
Spain had been lucky to emerge from Group E given the best way Japan fought again to beat them. So different groups know find out how to cease La Roja?

Your finest bets (odds through Caesars Sportsbook)

Should you’re seeking to guess on the World Cup, ESPN contributors Paul Carr, Dan Thomas and Dalen Cuff are right here to offer you key suggestions on odds, choices and futures. This is what we have now for the Sunday’s matches.

France (-390) vs. Poland (+1200), Draw (+430)

Carr: France’s loss to Tunisia does not concern me, given the squad rotation and unfamiliarity. Poland was lucky to lose solely 2-0 to Argentina (3.7 xG on 23 pictures) and gave up a ton of fine probabilities to Saudi Arabia too (1.7 xG on 16 pictures). I feel France cruises right here with the primary workforce again, and I am going to lay the 1.5 objectives at -115.

Cuff: Poland was arguably probably the most unimpressive workforce to advance to spherical of 16. France’s final loss was with a lineup of reserves. I feel they dominate, play for me is win to nil -116. I additionally will most likely play Olivier Giroud to attain anytime +120.

England (-195) vs. Senegal (+600), Draw (+290)

Carr: I stay unconvinced by England supervisor Gareth Southgate’s willingness to go for it within the knockout stage. In eight video games over the earlier two tournaments, England solely put two away earlier than the eightieth minute, together with attracts in opposition to opponents Colombia (2018 World Cup) and Denmark (Euro 2020). Senegal is lacking Idrissa Gueye in midfield, however I feel they’ve a good shot to hold with England at the least by 90 minutes, so I am going to play Senegal on the double likelihood at +150. Should you’re feeling extra daring, I do not thoughts playing them to advance at +360.

Cuff: I really feel much like Paul right here, I performed England to be eradicated in spherical of 16. I simply do not imagine on this workforce and the way Southgate units them up. Nonetheless, I assumed their opponent right here can be Ecuador, which supplies a distinct problem than Senegal. I feel I’ll barely hedge right here by not enjoying a facet, however I feel we see extra objectives than you’d count on. Over 2.5 +125.

Information and notes

  • Brazil legend Pele is responding properly to remedy for a respiratory an infection and his well being situation has not worsened over the previous 24 hours, the Albert Einstein hospital in Sao Paulo mentioned in a press release Saturday. Pele, 82, has been on the hospital since Tuesday. Get-well messages have poured in from all over the world for the three-time World Cup winner, who can be present process most cancers remedy.

  • Lionel Messi achieved all kinds of milestones in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Australia on Saturday that booked the Albiceleste a quartefinal date in opposition to the Netherlands. He reached 1,000 skilled matches, and in addition moved handed Diego Maradona’s World Cup objectives tally. With eight objectives throughout his 5 World Cups, Messi wants another to tie with Gabriel Batitusta for Argentina’s all-time report on the match.

  • Brazil have suffered two extra harm setbacks forward of the World Cup round-of-16 conflict in opposition to South Korea with each striker Gabriel Jesus and defender Alex Telles dominated out of the remainder of the match. Brazil have been hit by the harm bug in Qatar, with Neymar’s standing nonetheless unsure as a result of an ankle challenge that made him miss two matches to this point.

  • England captain Harry Kane mentioned he is able to peak within the World Cup knockout levels after tailoring his conditioning to succeed in optimum match health. The 29-year-old has not scored but within the match however has three assists to his identify to this point in Qatar. Kane gained the Golden Boot on the 2018 match however 5 of his six objectives got here within the group stage earlier than England had been crushed by Croatia within the semifinals.

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