Late targets by Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen gave the Netherlands a 2-0 victory over African champions Senegal on Monday on their return to the World Cup stage. With Senegal lacking injured star man Sadio Mane and the Dutch with out their most important attacking risk Memphis Depay at kick-off, the Group A encounter in Doha regarded set to finish in a goalless draw. However with simply six minutes remaining PSV Eindhoven ahead Gakpo obtained up in entrance of Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to move in a floated Frenkie de Jong cross from the left.
Substitute Klaassen then secured the victory deep in harm time, following as much as rating after Mendy had saved from Depay, who had additionally come off the bench.
The outcome leaves the Netherlands degree on the prime of the group with Ecuador, who beat hosts Qatar 2-0 within the match’s opening match on Sunday.
Louis van Gaal’s facet play Ecuador on Friday, whereas Senegal now face a must-win contest in opposition to Qatar.
Senegal noticed Bayern Munich celebrity Mane — who got here second on this yr’s Ballon d’Or — pull out of the squad with a leg harm on the eve of the match.
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His absence was clearly felt as the competition at Al Thumama Stadium -– performed out to the backdrop of the continuous drumming and dancing of the Senegal help, but in addition in entrance of a substantial variety of empty seats — by no means lived as much as its billing.
Everton midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye got here closest to scoring for Senegal with a strike on the half-volley from the sting of the field that was crushed away by Netherlands goalkeeper Andries Noppert within the 73rd minute.
Noppert, the enormous Heerenveen goalkeeper who was making his worldwide debut, additionally excelled with saves from Boulaye Dia and Pape Gueye within the second half because the Netherlands performed their first World Cup sport in eight years.
The three-time runners-up had been semi-finalists below Van Gaal in Brazil in 2014 earlier than failing to qualify for the final World Cup in Russia in 2018.
The Dutch workforce was captained by Virgil van Dijk, who was making his debut at a significant worldwide match on the event of his fiftieth cap.
With Matthijs de Ligt and Nathan Ake alongside him, they had been largely snug on the again however had created little going ahead earlier than Barcelona ahead Depay -– who scored 12 occasions in qualifying -– got here on for the ultimate half-hour.
With Depay not capable of begin after spending two months on the sidelines, it fell to former Tottenham Hotspur striker Vincent Janssen to spearhead the Netherlands assault however he did not make a significant affect.
But Gakpo lastly broke the impasse and, as Senegal pushed for an equaliser, Depay performed his half in Ajax midfielder Klaassen’s purpose that clinched the factors within the ninth added minute.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)
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