DOHA : Runners-up of the 2010 World Cup, the Netherlands had to wait until the end of the match before winning 2-0 over Senegal.
Two goals were scored by Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen with 10 minutes remaining in the match to ensure that Louis Van Gaal’s squad, drawn in Group A, started on the right foot.
2021 African champions Senegal were previously unbeaten in their opening two matches with a 1-0 shock win over reigning world champions France in 2002 and a 2-1 win over Poland in 2018.
The absence of striker Sadio Mane, who had to be ruled out due to injury, was felt by the squad that was nicknamed the Bright Lion.
The brilliance of Senegalese goalkeeper Edouard Mendy denied several dangerous attempts by Cody Gakpo, Vincent Janssen and Steven Bergwijn to ensure that no goals were produced throughout the first half.
Continuing the second half, The Oranje returned fiercely to double the effort but they had a hard time breaking through the Senegal defense who acted with enough discipline.
Senegal had a chance to be ahead in the 72nd minute through a strong shot by its player, Idrissa Gueye, but was denied by the Dutch goalkeeper, Andries Noppert.
When the match seemed to end with a 0-0 result, the Dutch managed to score the first goal through Cody Gakpo’s header after receiving a beautiful pass from Frenkie De Jong in the 84th minute.
Definitive victory belonged to the Netherlands after Davy Klaassen scored the team’s second goal in extra time at the end of the match. -ONLINE MESSENGER
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