Fans react after Team USA is eliminated from World Cup by Netherlands

By , Audacy Sports

Team USA's World Cup dream came to an end on Saturday, with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands in the round of 16.

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The Americans missed an early opportunity to score the game's first goal in the second minute.

Star forward Christian Pulisic was alone in the box with the ball off a Netherlands turnover, but he was unable to sneak his shot past Dutch goalie Andries Noppert.

The Netherlands scored sooner after in the 10th minute, and tacked on a second goal shortly before the half to take a comfortable 2-0 advantage.

Team USA shaved the deficit to 2-1 in the second half with substitute Haji Wright's goal in the 76th minute, but the Netherlands promptly answered with its third and final goal five minutes later.

The Americans' elimination marked the end of an emotional rollercoaster following a strong showing in the group stage, where they were one of only five teams not to lose a game after notching a win and two ties.

Hopes were especially high coming off a rousing must-win game against Iran in which Pulisic was knocked out scoring the game's only goal.

The 24-year-old Pennsylvania native, who plays professionally for Chelsea of the Premier League, watched the second half of the Iran game from a hospital bed due to a pelvic injury. He vowed to return for the Netherlands matchup and did so, but was unable to reprise his role as national hero, missing on what might have been the US' best scoring chance.

Still, this Cup was a relatively encouraging development for the US after the devastating setback of failing to qualify in 2018.

On social media, some Team USA fans were gutted by the tournament exit and the seemingly squandered opportunities, but others expressed optimism about the team's young nucleus returning in 2026, when the World Cup will be held in the United States for the first time since 1994.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: USA Today