Virgil van Dijk fires warning to rivals after Netherlands ease past USA in World Cup | Football
Virgil van Dijk has warned Netherlands are capable of even more after sweeping aside USA to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.
The Dutch faced a potentially tricky last 16 showdown against USA on Saturday afternoon but a superbly worked 21-pass move finished by Memphis Depay settled any nerves after 10 minutes of play.
Daley Blind doubled the lead just before half-time, arriving in the box to slot home a cutback from Denzel Dumfries.
There was a scare for Louis van Gaal’s side as the USA pulled one back after 76 minutes, with Haji Wright’s fortunate flick finding it’s way in at the far post.
Order was restored five minutes later however with Blind this time setting up Dumfries.
Netherlands will learn their quarter-final opponents tonight when Argentina take on Australia with Liverpool star van Dijk warning his side are growing into the competition.
‘I think we could do better than we showed,’ Van Dijk told NOS. ‘Listen, we want to improve. It’s one step better and we’re scoring two fantastic goals. What more could you want?’
While the Dutch took seven points from a possible nine in the group stages, van Gaal’s style of football has faced criticism back home.
Van Dijk believes Saturday’s performance against the US will have helped silence some of those voices with the Dutch turning on the style.
‘’That was already better, but we are critical. In the Netherlands , everyone is critical, because we can play football very well. ‘But, we are in the quarterfinals. We now have to recover. We have two extra days, that helps a bit.’
Former Netherlands and Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart meanwhile has now dared to back the Dutch to go all the way, also singling out goalkeeper Andries Noppert after his save in the crucial stages to deny Christian Pulisic.
‘I cannot rule out that we will become world champions. And Noppert did a good job, didn’t he?’ he told NOS.
‘We have already said a lot about goalkeepers, but I am happy for that boy that he is doing so well. You’d almost say nobody’s seen this before, because he’s really good.’
MORE : Denzel Dumfries inspires Holland to 3-1 win against USA to reach World Cup quarter-finals
MORE : Jack Wilshere sends warning to England over Senegal star Ismaila Sarr ahead of World Cup clash
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