United States forward Christian Pulisic has revealed he is still ruing his costly World Cup round-of-16 miss against the Netherlands.
The USMNT crashed out at Qatar 2022 in the first knockout round with a 3-1 defeat to the Oranje, in which they were largely outplayed for vast portions of the match.
First-half goals from Memphis Depay and Daley Blind gave the Netherlands a commanding lead, while Denzel Dumfries finished the job in the 81st minute, shortly after Haji Wright had given the Stars and Stripes hope.
But things could have turned out very differently, with Pulisic missing a one-on-one chance with goalkeeper Andries Noppert after just three minutes. The opportunity was given an xG rating of 0.42, but was easily saved by Noppert.
The dust is yet to fully settle on the USMNT’s World Cup campaign so, naturally, Pulisic still finds himself replaying the chance in his head.
“Had I finished that chance, the game goes differently,” Pulisic said on teammate Tim Ream’s Indirect podcast. “I would love that back. I still think about it. It’s a learning experience. I think there’s a reason why it didn’t go in, things happened the way it did. It all happens for a reason.”
Despite their loss to the Netherlands, the USMNT left Qatar with plenty of positives. Gregg Berhalter’s side navigated Group B unbeaten despite facing England, Iran, and Wales, and impressed many with their high-energy style of play.
If nothing else, the US have returned to the world stage after missing out in 2018 and proven themselves more than capable ahead of co-hosting the tournament in 2026.
“I think my most significant takeaway would just be the experience that a lot of this team now has under their belt,” Pulisic added. “Coming back here with my Chelsea teammates, for example, they’re all talking about like, ’You guys actually have a good team. We didn’t know. You guys looked good, you guys looked good against England, you guys have a strong team.
“I knew we had a strong team, and once everyone kind of came together, you could see that. And also now with the World Cup in the States next time around, I think these experiences are so important.”
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