The Netherlands breezed into the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win over the USA, Denzel Dumfries put in the game of his life and was involved in all three goals (two assists and one goal). The Inter Milan right back had struggled in his first few matches and it seemed like opposition teams might of tried to exploit his lack of defensive awareness, but he has proved the doubters wrong and other teams will be fearful of what he can do at the other end of the pitch.
Leo Messi led the line in a 2-1 win over Australia, scoring his third goal of this World Cup and the ninth throughout his career. If the PSG forward hadn’t missed his two penalties, he would be equal with the current top scorer and teammate Kylian Mbappe. Messi’s “personal bodyguard”, Rodrigo de Paul, had a stormer of a match against Australia, completely bossing the midfield, as his form is imperative for the team to go the whole way.
Argentina To Score First
Louis van Gaal is undefeated since his appointment back at the beginning of last season, holding a W14-D5 record, but if we wanted to be harsh you could argue that the Dutch haven’t really been tested during this stint of games. The Oranje played three games during their 19-match unbeaten run that were against the elite footballing nations of the World, which were against Germany and Belgium twice. They walked away with six points against Belgium and a 1-1 draw with Germany, though you could also argue that these teams aren’t at the pinnacle of international football anymore with both sides being knocked out of the group stages of this year’s edition of the World Cup.
Argentina have an impeccable record when it comes to scoring first. They are yet to concede first in their last 28 matches and have got the first goal in all four games of their World Cup campaign so far. The two times they failed to score first in this 28-game streak were two 0-0 draws with Brazil and Paraguay. Although Netherlands have only conceded first five times in their last 24 matches, they have played a plethora of bad teams along the way including two matches each against Gibraltar, Latvia and Montenegro.
ARGENTINA TO SCORE FIRST
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