Christian Pulisic had a brilliant opening inside the first minutes of the match to put USA ahead, but it was instead Memphis Depay who finished a scintillating team move inside ten minutes for the opener at the other end.
A slow-paced first half played into the Dutch side’s hands and they doubled their lead right before the break - Daley Blind finishing the second goal after a neat move down the right.
USA needed a response after the restart and Tim Ream almost pulled one back only to miss his connection from close range. Haji Wright somehow scooped one in 15 minutes from time to set up a big finale, but Denzel Dumfries then was left unmarked to immediately restore the two-goal lead and send the Dutch through.
Here are the player ratings from the Khalifa International Stadium.
Andries Noppert, 8. Made a really big save with his leg in the opening minutes and then was afforded a watching brief all first half. Good race out to clear a one-v-one just after USA’s goal.
Jurrien Timber, 7. Totally comfortable all game. Defended well, played out with ease, had the pace to cope with Robinson.
Virgil van Dijk, 7. Strolled through the match for the most part. Cajoled those around him to keep concentration and had an easy time of matters against Ferreira. Wasn’t close enough to Wright perhaps for the goal, though it’s still not totally clear exactly how it looped in.
Nathan Ake, 8. Made one or two important interceptions and barely misplaced a pass all game. Largely excellent as the Dutch team’s best defender on the day.
Denzel Dumfries, 9. Hadn’t got forward to good effect in the group stages but here showed the best parts of his game to do exactly that. Assisted both first-half goals then raced in at the far post to wrap matters up himself. Shades of his Euros performances here in being allowed to actually attack the box, not just prowl up and down the touchline.
Frenkie de Jong, 8. Took him about three minutes to figure out he would have loads of time and space if he dropped a little deeper and from then on he was like the best kid on the playground. Almost scored; booked late on.
Marten De Roon, 6. Sat in deep areas, played it simple, blocked off the passing lanes. Had a routine job and did it just fine in the first half before being subbed.
Daley Blind, 8. Looked the weakest point of the team on the couple of occasions USA ran at him first half, but it wasn’t often. On the other hand, he then shut down his flank second half with some big tackles and he was involved in a lot of the Dutch counters - plus got himself into the box to score.
Davy Klaassen, 6. Like De Roon, hooked at the break - tactical though rather than poor display.
Cody Gakpo, 6. Finally played in a World Cup game he didn’t score in. Was useful as an outlet on the counter but nothing really went his way in terms of chances in the box.
Memphis Depay, 8. Very calm finish to a very good move early on. Great link play throughout and looks like he’s getting a lot closer to full sharpness now after being injured earlier in the tournament.
Subs: T Koopmeiners 6, S Bergwijn 5, X Simons n/a, W Weghorst n/a, M de Ligt n/a
Matt Turner, 8. No chance on either goal, fizzed past him from fairly close range, but he made a couple of other blocks and saves - including a double stop with 20 to play to keep USA in the game.
Sergino Dest, 6. Why he didn’t keep running at Blind is one of the big mysteries of this match. Had the pace to beat him but only did it the once to good effect. A couple of good driving runs in central areas too but then let himself down by totally ignoring Blind for goal No2.
Walker Zimmerman, 5. Not problematic that he saw a lot of the ball, just problematic that he was so slow in offloading it straight back into the centre of midfield. Fine defensively for the most part, in that he’s not a Champions League-calibre defender and the attackers he was up against mostly were.
Tim Ream, 5. Had to score just after the restart. Asleep for the third killer goal. Too often bypassed by the Dutch rotation of positions in attack.
Antonee Robinson, 6. Like Dest, he was sometimes the best (or only) route of build-up play but the accuracy in passing wasn’t there and couldn’t deliver crosses from wide once Wright came on. Along with Ream will be disappointed for the third.
Tyler Adams, 5. Didn’t track Depay well enough for the opening goal and just not positive enough in possession. The Dutch allowed him the ball in deep zones and he wasn’t able to find the keys to unluck them.
Weston McKennie, 4. Really disappointing. Very slow and safe on the ball like too many of his teammates, but he’s one of the ones who needed to take charge of that issue and push the issue for the States. Took a couple of shots but they were wild and wasteful.
Yunus Musah, 6. A game too far for him. Was key in the group stage but didn’t seem to have the mobility or energy, or even bravery on the ball, to break through the Oranje ranks in the middle.
Timothy Weah, 6. Was one of the few American players who possessed a bit of a spark and individuality to try and change the pace of play, but it was sporadic. One rocket shot brought a save and a couple of dribbles troubled Blind.
Jesus Ferreira, 3. Into the line-up out of nowhere with Josh Sargent injured and looked a million miles below the level required. Turned away from goal to play safe every time he touched the ball, which wasn’t often.
Christian Pulisic, 6. If he scores in the opening minutes with a massive chance, it’s a totally different Dutch approach. He missed though and it was all uphill for USA from minutes later. Struggled to impact on the game at all even after moving central but then got the assist from the right channel for 2-1.
Subs: G Reyna 6, H Wright 6, B Aaronsen 5, D Yedlin n/a, J Morris n/a