Senegal 0-2 Netherlands : 2 Late goals gives a crucial win for Oranje

Last Updated on 21/11/2022 by

The Netherlands defeat Senegal 2-0 at the Al Thumama Stadium in their World Cup match thanks to two late goals.

While the significant proportion of Monday’s Group A match was dull, Cody Gakpo’s goal six minutes from time brought Netherlands the lead. When eight minutes of additional time were indicated, Senegal thought there might be a chance to tie the score, but Davy Klaasen secured the points in the final seconds. Prior to their matchup on Friday, Netherlands and Ecuador are tied on points after Ecuador easily defeated the hosts Qatar 2-0 on Sunday.

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The only 0-0 score during the entire 2018 World Cup was between France and Denmark in the group stage. Just 3 games into the tournament in Qatar 2022, it appeared that the total would be matched, but 2 goals late in the day gave the Dutch the victory and all three points.

With PSV Eindhoven, Cody Gakpo has been on fire at the club level. To date, he has an incredible 30 goal involvements in 24 games, or one every 65 minutes. He was the hero for the Dutch in this game, scoring his fourth goal for his country, all in victories and all in different games. In the 99th minute of play, Davy Klaassen added the second goal, but Gakpo’s strike ultimately decided the match.

We witnessed a much cageier match in this Group A match after earlier today’s England 6-2 Iran game, which was somewhat understandable given that neither team wanted to lose what would be their hardest group match before games against Qatar and Ecuador. Senegal did lose, but most likely unfairly. In the final two games of the group stage, they will be confident that they can achieve the necessary results.

The Netherlands will be coached by Louis van Gaal for a second World Cup after leading them to the 2014 semifinals, where they lost to Argentina. Van Gaal is the third-oldest manager to take over a World Cup game at 71 years and 105 days old, behind only Otto Rehhagel and scar Tabárez. The legendary Dutch coach would surpass Tabárez in the rankings if he led the Netherlands into the semifinals once more this year.

Andries Noppert was selected to start in goal for the Netherlands by Van Gaal, who pulled a surprise with his starting lineup. In addition to making his World Cup debut, Noppert also earned his first national team cap in all competitions, becoming the first player from SC Heerenveen to play in a tournament for the Netherlands.

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Senegal’s victory at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year was based on a solid defence that allowed just two goals and 12 shots on goal from the opposition over the course of seven games. It was largely the same in this game, with the Dutch taking 10 shots while Édouard Mendy’s goal was well protected. Gakpo’s goal, which was scored 83 minutes, 51 seconds into the match, was actually their first shot on goal.

Both teams got off to a strong start, with Boulaye Dia of Senegal having a shot deflected over the crossbar shortly after the game began and Cody Gakpo missing a team member with a cutback when he presumably should have taken the shot himself. Ismaila Sarr also missed with a shot for the Lions of Teranga before the ten-minute mark, and Daley Blind missed with a header at the back post after rising to meet a cross.

The game remained open as Frenkie de Jong was discovered in the area with plenty of room, but the Barcelona midfielder took too much time and was unable to get a shot off. As the game approached the halfway point, the momentum swung back and forth. Sarr displayed brilliant skill on the edge of the box before seeing his goal-bound shot brilliantly blocked by Virgil van Dijk.

The next half hour saw both teams work harder than before, but chances at either end completely dried up as Sadio Mane and Memphis Depay were noticeably absent from both teams. Only a header from Van Dijk came close for the Netherlands. After the 60-minute mark had passed, Depay was soon introduced, but Senegal created the next opportunity when Dia’s shot toward the near corner was parried away by rookie Andries Noppert.

Both teams appeared content with a point each, and the game appeared to be stalling, but De Jong and Gakpo finally added some interest to a tedious second half.

Gakpo was perfectly timed to run onto De Jong’s inswinging cross with six minutes left, and he was able to beat goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to the ball and head the ball into an empty net. Senegal immediately launched an attack, and a low long-range attempt from Pape Gueye forced Noppert to dive to his left and tip the ball wide.

Senegal’s continued forward movement created more room at the opposing end of the field, and Netherlands took advantage of this opening to score again in the ninth minute of added time. Mendy parried Depay’s feeble curling attempt, but Klaasen was there to score from close range to secure what might turn out to be a crucial victory at the end of the group.

Twelve years prior to winning the World Cup, both of the most recent champions, France in 2018 and Germany in 2014, were losing finalists. After losing to Spain in the 2010 World Cup final, the Netherlands would triumph this time around should that streak continue. On the basis of the evidence, that seems like a stretch.



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