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Barcelona World Cup Spotlight: de Jong MVP in draw, Memphis uninspiring



Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

The second round of games got off to an interesting start in the World Cup on Friday and there is already a clear idea about some of the teams who are close to qualifying for the knockouts and some of the teams that are on the brink of elimination.

Wales took on Iran in the first kick-off today and the Asian nation caused a huge upset by beating Rob Page’s side 2-0.

Senegal took on the hosts Qatar in the second game today and the African country emerged comfortable 3-1 winners. The result, along with the fact that the Netherlands – Ecuador game ended in a draw means that the hosts are the first team to be out of the World Cup.

The Netherlands faced off against the impressive Ecuador in the third game and both teams came into this game riding on the confidence of a win from their first match. A largely evenly contested contest, it eventually ended 1-1 with neither team able to gain an advantage in the group.

The USMNT were in for a huge test as they took on the mighty England in the final kick-off of the day. The Americans valiantly stood up to the task and should have actually taken home three points from the game but the game ended 0-0.

Barcelona’s Dutch duo, Memphis Depay and Frenkie de Jong were in action tonight along with loanee Sergino Dest and we at Barca Universal take a look at how they fared in their respective games.

Frenkie de Jong (vs Ecuador):

For the second game in a row, Frenkie de Jong seemed the best player in a rather underwhelming Dutch side. The Barça midfielder controlled the game pretty well from midfield but was let down by the players around him.

Frenkie had 87 touches and completed 93% of his passes. He won nine of his 11 ground duels and two of his three aerial duels. The Dutch midfielder was handed the Man of the Match award for his performance on the evening.

Memphis Depay (vs Ecuador):

For the second game in a row, Memphis started off the bench with the Barça forward still building his way back to full fitness. Louis van Gaal though chose to bring on the Dutch No. 10 at half-time.

Depay tried his best to make a difference for the Dutch side but could not impose himself on the proceedings. He still seemed some paces off though which is understandable considering he is coming off a long-term injury.

Sergino Dest (vs England):

The USMNT found a lot of joy in attacking through the right flank and a huge reason for this was the impressive display from Barça loanee Sergino Dest. The American was sharp going forward and created a number of chances for his teammates.

It was a timely reminder of what Dest can do. The American international might not have a future at Barça but he certainly is a decent player and a good performance at the World Cup could help Barcelona find buyers for him at the end of the season.

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