Cody Gakpo’s 84th-minute goal on his World Cup debut and Davy Klaassen’s stoppage-time strike redeemed the Netherlands and gave them a valuable 2-0 win over an excellent Senegal in the two teams’ opener in the 1st group of the World Cup 2022.
At Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, the “injured” and without their leader Sadio Mane, the Senegalese were much better for most of the match, they missed more “clear” chances, but in the final the “Oranie” took the three points thanks to header by the 23-year-old Eindhoven striker – after a “magical” assist by Frankie De Jong that immobilized the defense of Aliu Cisse’s team – and the Ajax midfielder’s place in the 9th minute of stoppage time.
A “dark” spot in the match, the injury of Senegal’s Seiko Kouyate, who in the 70th minute jumped for a header, but was seriously injured in the thigh and left on a stretcher.
Senegal quickly began to control the match and in the 9th minute Sarr received the ball in the area, turning and shooting directly over the posts. In the 17th minute, Blond’s header went past the posts, while in the 22nd minute, Frankie De Jong missed a huge opportunity for the “Oranie”.
Although he did not register a final effort, the Barcelona midfielder received the assist from Bergwein, but he was characteristically late in the two attempts he made and Koulibaly pulled away saves for the Senegalese. In the 40th minute, a very good shot by Berhaus went just over the posts, in the last good moment of the first half.
In the second half, the Netherlands looked blocked by Senegal’s excellent defensive tactics. And it was the Africans who missed the most important moments. In the 65th minute, the Senegalese stole the ball and reached the Dutch area, with Boulagier Dia shooting powerfully from a diagonal position, but Knoppert showed excellent reflexes and kicked for a corner. The goalkeeper of the Netherlands also showed a very good reaction in the 73′ to the shot of Idrissa Geig from inside the area, deflecting it for a corner.
Gakpo finally gave the solution for the Netherlands in the 84th minute, as he moved behind the Senegalese defense and caught Mendy on his way out and made it 1-0 with a header. Two minutes later, Knoppert also said “no” to Idrissa Geig’s shot, again deflecting it for a corner, while in the 9th minute of stoppage time, Klaassen took advantage of Mendy’s weak save in Depay’s place and made the final 2-0.
Referee: Wilton Sabaio (Brazil)
Yellows: E. Mendy, I. Geig – De Licht
The compositions of the two teams:
SENEGAL (Aliou Cisse): Edouard Mendy, Koulibaly, Pape Abou Cisse, Idrissa Gué, Nabali Mendy, Kouyate (73′ lt. Pape Gué), Dia (69′ Dieng), Diata (73′ Jackson), Sarr, Sambali , Diallo (62′ Jacobs).
NETHERLANDS (Louis van Gaal): Noppert, Dumfries, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Ake, Blind, Berkhaus (79′ Kupminers), Frankie De Jong, Gakpo (90’+4 De Roon), Bergwein (79′ Klaassen), Janssen (62′ Depay).