The Netherlands survived a late scare against the United States to move into the World Cup quarter-finals with a ruthless display of finishing.
The US had the game's biggest early chance when Christian Pulisic was denied by the legs of Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert and the failure to take that opportunity proved highly expensive.
Louis van Gaal's side responded in the finest Dutch traditions in the 10th minute when Memphis Depay crowned a magnificent 21-pass move by turning in Denzel Dumfries' cross.
The US battled hard but lacked a cutting edge and were punished once more in similar fashion with the final kick of the first half when Daley Blind arrived with perfect timing on the end of another Dumfries cut back.
The Dutch were given anxious moments when the US pulled a goal back in the 76th minute as Haji Wright's freak deflection from Pulisic's cross looped in at the far post.
But they restored their two-goal lead five minutes later when creator Dumfries turned scorer, side-footing in a volley at the far post from Blind's cross.
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Van Gaal's Dutch march on
Van Gaal has been over this course before with the Netherlands, when he guided them to a World Cup semi-final in Brazil in 2014, only to lose on penalties to Argentina after a goalless draw in Sao Paulo.
And his vast experience means they cannot be under-estimated here as they set up a last eight meeting with either their 2014 conquerors Argentina or Australia, who meet at 19:00 GMT on Saturday.
No-one would pretend this is a classic Dutch side but they have a sprinkling of quality in all areas and the beauty of their first goal, which would have delighted the purists in their homeland, was a graphic demonstration of their capabilities.
Virgil van Dijk is the world-class defensive leader alongside Nathan Ake, while both full-backs Blind and Dumfries made crucial contributions.
Frenkie de Jong brings control to midfield and there is real threat in the shape of Depay, who scored his first goal of this World Cup, and one of the break-out stars of this World Cup, Cody Gakpo.
It was a display that delighted the band of Dutch fans inside Khalifa International Stadium as Van Gaal's side march on.
Pulisic miss proves costly The USA have failed to win all 24 World Cup matches in which they conceded the first goal of the game, losing 19 times in the process
The States' main man Christian Pulisic looked close to tears after the final whistle as he reflected on the chance that got away in those opening moments, an opportunity that might have made this a very different tie.
Pulisic was sent through on goal by Tyler Adams' clever delivery but the outstretched leg of Dutch keeper Noppert made the block. Pulisic should have scored and he knew it.
The US were soon in arrears and could never get close enough to the Netherlands, apart from Wright's goal, which was heavily laced with good fortune.
The left side of their defence was brutally exposed by the Dutch for all three goals and this, mixed with poor finishing, meant their World Cup ends in the first knockout round.
There is something to build on after getting out of the group stages but there will also be disappointed at the sense of missed opportunity as they make their departure from Qatar and start their preparations for the 2026 World Cup, which they will be co-hosting.
Player of the match
with an average of 8.97
NetherlandsAvgSquad number22Player nameDumfriesAverage rating
Squad number10Player nameDepayAverage rating
Squad number5Player nameAkéAverage rating
Squad number23Player nameNoppertAverage rating
Squad number17Player nameBlindAverage rating
Squad number4Player namevan DijkAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameGakpoAverage rating
Squad number2Player nameTimberAverage rating
Squad number21Player namede JongAverage rating
Squad number25Player nameSimonsAverage rating
Squad number15Player namede RoonAverage rating
Squad number14Player nameKlaassenAverage rating
Squad number7Player nameBergwijnAverage rating
Squad number3Player namede LigtAverage rating
Squad number20Player nameKoopmeinersAverage rating
Squad number19Player nameWeghorstAverage rating
USAAvgSquad number1Player nameTurnerAverage rating
Squad number4Player nameAdamsAverage rating
Squad number6Player nameMusahAverage rating
Squad number19Player nameWrightAverage rating
Squad number7Player nameReynaAverage rating
Squad number21Player nameWeahAverage rating
Squad number8Player nameMcKennieAverage rating
Squad number3Player nameZimmermanAverage rating
Squad number11Player nameAaronsonAverage rating
Squad number22Player nameYedlinAverage rating
Squad number2Player nameDestAverage rating
Squad number10Player namePulisicAverage rating
Squad number16Player nameMorrisAverage rating
Squad number9Player nameFerreiraAverage rating
Squad number13Player nameReamAverage rating
Squad number5Player nameRobinsonAverage rating
- Line-upsMatch StatsLive Text
23Noppert2Timber4van Dijk5Aké22Dumfries15de Roon21de Jong17Blind14Klaassen8Gakpo10Depay
- 23Noppert2Timber4van Dijk5AkéSubstituted forde Ligtat 90+4'minutes22Dumfries15de RoonSubstituted forBergwijnat 45'minutes21de JongBooked at 87mins17Blind14KlaassenSubstituted forKoopmeinersat 45'minutesBooked at 60mins8GakpoSubstituted forWeghorstat 90+4'minutes10DepaySubstituted forSimonsat 83'minutes
- 1Pasveer3de Ligt6de Vrij7Bergwijn9de Jong11Berghuis12Lang13Bijlow16Malacia18Janssen19Weghorst20Koopmeiners24Taylor25Simons26Frimpong
- 1Turner2DestSubstituted forYedlinat 75'minutes3Zimmerman13Ream5RobinsonSubstituted forMorrisat 90+2'minutes6Musah4Adams8McKennieSubstituted forWrightat 67'minutes21WeahSubstituted forAaronsonat 67'minutes9FerreiraSubstituted forReynaat 45'minutes10Pulisic
- 7Reyna11Aaronson12Horvath14de la Torre15Long16Morris17Roldán18Moore19Wright20Carter-Vickers22Yedlin23Acosta25Johnson26Scally
Referee:Wilton Pereira SampaioAttendance:44,846Match StatsHome TeamNetherlandsAway TeamUSAPossessionHome42%Away58%ShotsHome11Away17Shots on TargetHome6Away8CornersHome4Away5FoulsHome10Away5Live Text Post update
Match ends, Netherlands 3, USA 1.
Second Half ends, Netherlands 3, USA 1.
Hand ball by Brenden Aaronson (USA).
Attempt blocked. Yunus Musah (USA) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Giovanni Reyna with a headed pass.
Substitution, Netherlands. Wout Weghorst replaces Cody Gakpo.
Substitution, Netherlands. Matthijs de Ligt replaces Nathan Aké.
Substitution, USA. Jordan Morris replaces Antonee Robinson.
Foul by DeAndre Yedlin (USA).
Nathan Aké (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Giovanni Reyna (USA) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Brenden Aaronson.
Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Brenden Aaronson (USA) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands).
Attempt missed. Walker Zimmerman (USA) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left following a corner.
Corner, USA. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.
Foul by DeAndre Yedlin (USA).
Xavi Simons (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Giovanni Reyna (USA) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Cody Gakpo (Netherlands).
Substitution, Netherlands. Xavi Simons replaces Memphis Depay.
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