Sunday, 3 November 2019

FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019: Netherlands score four to stay afloat

The Netherlands v USA - FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019

The Netherlands surged into knockout phase contention by soundly defeating USA 4-0 on Saturday night in their Group D finale at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2019. Ajax youth player Sontje Hansen struck his team's first two goals and assisted the third to lead the Oranje charge. The Dutch will have to wait one more day to find out if their best performance of the tournament will lead them into the Round of 16.

Hansen put the Netherlands ahead four minutes from half-time, dribbling to create space in the box and beating USA goalkeeper Chituru Odunze at the near post. His second goal was a low, first-time rip from 12 yards of Anass Salah Eddine's cross. In addition to assisting Mohamed Taabouni's 70th-minute goal, Hansen also won a penalty in the 77th minute. The Oranje's three points may be enough for them to continue as one of the four best third-placed teams, but they won't know for sure until Groups E and F play their final matches on Sunday.

The Brazil 2019 voyage ends here for the Stars and Stripes. Following a gutty scoreless draw with Japan in Vitoria, they were outmatched for most of their final appearance. The USA attack generated few meaningful goalscoring opportunities against a Dutch defence that was quick to recover and thwart counter attacks. Odenze pulled off a moment of brilliance when he denied Kenneth Taylor from the penalty spot in the 78th minute, but at that point it was already 3-0 to the Oranje.

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