The USA were sent packing after a dominant Netherlands brushed them aside 3-1 in the round of 16 in the Qatar World Cup, with Van Gaal believing his side have a “big chance” in going all the way.
Although Netherlands ran out 3-1 winners Van Gaal claimed he was very critical of his side at halftime: “In the first half we suffered so much, we were dispossessed so often and it is not necessary.”
“That is not acceptable in a World Cup if you play top countries. In the second half we made a much better job even though we scored fewer goals.”
The Netherlands first win at a World Cup knockout game since 2014 after finishing 3rd filled Van Gaal with plenty of optimism: “I have been talking for a year that we can become world champions, not that we will but we can. I am talking about team building and I derive pleasure from the group of players and performance and results.”
USA manager Gregg Berhalter on his sides defeat: “This is a difficult one to handle, it’s such a good group of guys, such a close group of guys and we came up short today but not for a lack of trying, not for a lack of effort.”
This was a very young USA side in which midfielder Weston Mckennie believes is just the begging for this group of players: “It’s exciting, the more time together the more growth we should have. But having said that, we still need to develop individually to more mature players for moments like this so we can come out on top.”