We round up the key Fantasy talking points from Tuesday’s World Cup action in our Scout Notes summary.
The graphics and numbers included in this article are from our Premium Members Area, which now includes all Opta player and team data from not just the World Cup proper but also qualifying.
NETHERLANDS 2-0 QATAR
- Goals: Cody Gakpo, Frenkie de Jong
- Assists: Davy Klaassen, Memphis Depay
The Netherlands comfortably dispatched hosts Qatar with Cody Gakpo’s ($7.0m) third goal of the tournament and a second from Frenkie de Jong ($8.5m). The 2-0 win secured top spot in Group A and a last-16 meeting with USA on Saturday.
Louis van Gaal made two changes from the side that drew 1-1 with Ecuador in Matchday 2, which included the return of Memphis Depay ($8.5m) to the starting XI, as he replaced Steven Bergwijn ($7.0m). The 28-year-old attempted five shots, his highest total in a single match in the World Cup, yet failed to find the net. He did, however, pick up an assist when his shot was superbly saved at close range, with the loose ball stabbed in by de Jong.
Gakpo, meanwhile, is the main reason why the Netherlands have advanced to the knockout stages as group winners. He played a little wider than in Matchday 2 but is taking the World Cup by storm with his third goal in as many matches.
The Dutch could have scored more – Steven Berghuis ($7.0m) had a third goal ruled out by VAR for a handball in the build-up and also hit the upright – but for much of the match it felt like a training exercise for van Gaal’s men.
DUMFRIES V BLIND
Qatar, meanwhile, make unwanted history as they become the first host nation to exit the tournament losing all of their group games.
ECUADOR 1-2 SENEGAL
- Goals: Moises Caicedo | Ismaila Sarr (pen), Kalidou Koulibaly
- Assists: Felix Torres | Idrissa Gana Gueye
In the other Group A game, goals from Watford’s Ismaila Sarr ($6.5m) and Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly ($5.5m) sent Senegal into the last-16 at the expense of Ecuador. Now, Senegal will meet England on Sunday in the first knockout stage of the World Cup.
The African side fully deserved their win, outshooting their opponents by 14/9, with Sarr exploiting Ecuador’s full-backs to win the penalty he then converted in the first-half. The winger found himself back on the left in Matchday 3 and stepped up in the absence of Sadio Mane, racking up three goal attempts and two shots inside the box.
Elsewhere, Idrissa Gana Gueye ($5.5) missed an early chance, skewing his shot wide after a driving run into the area, but was surprisingly awarded an assist for Koulibaly’s winner. However, he’s out of Senegal’s next match after receiving his second caution of the tournament.
As for Ecuador, they had 61% of possession but other than the goal they were surprisingly poor, managing only four shots on target all match.
WALES 0-3 ENGLAND
- Goals: Marcus Rashford x2, Phil Foden
- Assists: Phil Foden, Harry Kane, Kalvin Phillips
An excellent brace from Marcus Rashford ($7.5m) and a strike from Phil Foden (£8.5m) sent England into the World Cup last-16, where they will meet Senegal on Sunday.
The pair, starting their first games in Qatar, returned 13 and 12 points respectively in the official FIFA game, rewarding managers who took the plunge after seeing the teamsheets.
Captain Harry Kane ($11.0m) assisted Foden for his effort but was brought off before the hour for a rest, meaning he ends the group stage without a goal. In fact, Kane has only scored three times in 11 England games in 2022, all from the penalty spot.
Rashford, meanwhile, made his mark on the right wing having swapped sides with Foden at half-time.
“I thought in the first half we controlled the game but didn’t create enough chances. We wanted more thrust and threat, to play forward quicker. Once we got the two goals, we knew their spirit was gone, it has been a tough tournament for them.
It’s great for him [on Rashford], he has trained really well. He has been impressive since he came back to us, he could have had a hat-trick. That free kick is what he is capable of, it’s an incredible strike.
In moments I thought both of them [Rashford and Foden] were quiet in the first half, so we switched wings. They responded well, for both to get goals was great.” – Gareth Southgate
As for Wales, it was all a bit disjointed, as they exit the tournament having registered just seven shots on target.
IRAN 0-1 USA
- Goals: Christian Pulisic
- Assists: Sergino Dest
Christian Pulisic’s ($7.5m) goal eliminated Iran and put USA into the last-16, where they will meet the Netherlands. However, they will now be hoping their talisman is able to recover in time, having injured himself in the process of scoring.
“No update on his status. But it’s a wonderful thing when one of your best players is also one of the most hard working. He’s certainly that. I can’t say enough positive things about Christian.” – Gregg Berhalter on Christian Pulisic
In a deserved win, the US racked up 12 shots and have now kept consecutive clean sheets at the World Cup.
Key to their display was the performance of full-back Sergino Dest ($5.0m), who supplied the assist for Pulisic and was so positive with his runs forward.
As for Pulisic, he has been involved in both USA goals at this World Cup, having also assisted Timothy Weah ($6.5m) against Wales in Matchday 1.
Iran, meanwhile, registered just one shot on target and were particularly poor in the first-half.