8:53 AM PT -- The U.S. men's soccer team is headed back to the USA, losing to the Netherlands 3-1 at the World Cup and failing to reach its first quarterfinals since 2002.
The game got off to a rough start for the Americans. Just 10 minutes in, Netherlands forward Memphis Depay scored the game's first goal. Despite several opportunities, the U.S. failed to score in the first half. Then, with only seconds remaining in stoppage time before the break, Netherland’s Daley Blind scored a backbreaking second goal for his country.
The U.S. made a late run, thanks to a Christian Pulisic assisted goal, netted by Haji Wright at the 76-minute mark.
Unfortunately for the USA, the Netherlands scored another goal just minutes later, essentially sealing the American's fate.
The United States outshot Netherlands 17-11. They also had 8 shots on target, compared to the Netherlands 6.
Christian Pulisic made his triumphant return to the field Saturday ... this after the U.S. soccer star was seriously injured while scoring the winning goal against Iran in the USMNT's previous World Cup game.
Pulisic didn't seem too hobbled as the U.S. started playing against the Netherlands during its round-of-16 matchup in Qatar. Christian seemed spry and aggressive, but he missed a few opportunities to put some goals on the board. At half, the Netherlands has already taken a 2-0 lead over the U.S. after scoring right before the halftime whistle.
As we reported, Pulisic suffered a pelvic contusion Tuesday after crashing into the goalie as he scored the game-winner against Iran, propelling the U.S. to a 1-0 victory. Initially, the word was he had suffered a groin injury ... but he later clarified, "I didn't get hit in the balls. I'm alright. It was very painful. That bone is there for a reason to protect you and I hit it well. I was sore."
Pulisic -- known as Captain America for his team leadership -- sent Iran home from the tournament by scoring the goal, but he was in too much pain to celebrate in the moment.
He told reporters Thursday ... "I realized the ball went in. I was a bit confused because the guys around me — I think they were just trying to keep a distance and make sure I was OK. But it didn't really feel like a celebration, so I was worried about offsides ... You never know nowadays, so I wasn't sure what was going on. But I mean, I knew it went in."