World Cup 2022: The Netherlands face the US while battling the flu, Argentina take on Australia

There are only two games taking place on Saturday on the first day of the knockout stage of the World Cup, and only one European team on the pitch: the Netherlands, as they take on the US.

Here’s our at-a-glance look at the day ahead.

Netherlands vs US (16:00)

AP Photo/Petr David Josek
Daley Blind of the Netherlands connects a shot during a World Cup group A soccer match against Qatar at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022.AP Photo/Petr David Josek
  • The Dutch team has had a day of rest before the match with the US on Saturday, as the team has been battling the flu. Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has not specified how many players were affected.

  • The US is trying to get to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002.

  • The American audience has supported the team’s efforts, tuning into the first three matches in record numbers.

  • Christian Pulisic, who became an American star with the winning goal that lifted his team into the round of 16 at the World Cup, will play despite injuring his pelvic bone while colliding with Iran’s goalkeeper.

  • But the US has been winless in its last 11 World Cup games against European teams, a streak that includes five losses and six draws.


Argentina vs Australia (20:00)

AP Photo/Jorge Saenz
Argentina’s Lionel Messi controls a ball during a training session on the eve of the round of sixteen World Cup soccer match between Argentina and Australia, in Doha.AP Photo/Jorge Saenz
  • Will this be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup match? Australia is widely expected to lose to Argentina — but there have been many upsets in this World Cup so far.

  • Argentina was shocked by Saudi Arabia in its opening match and had to beat Poland earlier this week to advance in the World Cup. After beating Poland, Argentina

emerged as the winner of Group C earlier this week.

  • Australia is in the knockout round for only the second time, its previous trip a 1-0 loss to Italy in 2006.

  • This is the first match between the two teams since 2007.

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