The Oranje succeeded in topping their group and will face the United States in the Round of 16. Although they succeeded to win their group, their performance in the group stage left much to be desired. The Oranje will need to step it up if they want to advance in the knockout stages.

  • By Ibrahim Ayyub
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It’s great to see the Oranje be part of the World Cup again after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The Oranje completed their first mission; winning their group. Although it seems like no big feat, based on their opponents, one only has to look at Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Mexico, and Uruguay packing their bags early and heading home. The Dutch could have stumbled and allowed either Senegal or Ecuador to overtake them, but fortunately, they didn’t.

Nonetheless, it’s obvious that the Oranje were not that impressive in those three group matches. Many were hoping to see brilliant performances by the Oranje but instead were treated to moments of individual brilliance. Cody Gakpo is the shining star but the team has to perform better and Louis van Gaal has to find a way for his side to play with better chemistry and more fluidity on the pitch.

Up next for the Oranje will be the U.S. Hopefully the team will not be looking ahead to possibly facing Argentina, and instead focus on their current opponent. The U.S. is also back in the World Cup after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. They are a dangerous opponent to the Oranje since all the pressure is on the Dutch, and not the U.S. The young U.S. team advanced from their group and is in the knockout stages, so there won’t be any backlash if they fail to advance. Conversely, can you imagine the backlash if the Oranje fall to the U.S.?

The Oranje are four victories away from lifting the greatest trophy in the world. It’s time they kicked into high gear because they can’t afford to continue to be underwhelming. Failure to improve will result in another bitter exit where we are left wondering “what if” yet again.

Ibrahim Ayyub (24 Posts)