Cody Gakpo shines in debut World Cup as Netherlands beat Senegal


Doha, Qatar – The Netherlands set up a potential Group A decider against Ecuador on Friday, opening their World Cup campaign with a 2-0 win against Senegal At Al Thumama Stadium.

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target from kodi gakpo And Davy Klassen The final five minutes ensured a comfortable winning margin against the African champions, who now need to beat host nation Qatar in their next game to keep Quaking’s hopes of making it to the second round alive.

jump to: player ratings , Best/Worst Performers , Highlights and Notable Moments , quotes after match , key figures , upcoming fixtures

Swift response

1. Gakpo snatch late win against Senegal

Cody Gakpo continues to be one of the hottest young forwards in Europe after leading the Netherlands to a 2-0 win in their Group A opener against Senegal. PSV Eindhoven Forward Gakpo comes one step closer manchester united He remains on their radar through the summer and ahead of the January transfer window. And in his first game on the World Cup stage, the 23-year-old ensured that Louis van Gaal’s side made a winning start and put themselves in the running to qualify for the second round as group winners.

– Hamilton: PSV star Gakpo ready to shine for Netherlands at World Cup

With the game looking to be tied at 0-0, Gakpo was late in the Senegalese penalty area. frankie de jongcrossed the hesitation Edward Mendy In goal of the African champion. Gakpo was quiet during the game as Van Gaal was deployed in a deeper role and the Dutch struggled to make an impact against the Senegal team without their injured talisman. sadio mane, But with the group winners due to face the runners-up in Group B – the possibility wales either America – Winning the group means avoiding any potential conflicts EnglandSo the three points could be crucial for the Dutch, who made it 2-0 in the final seconds of stoppage time when Davy Klaasen took advantage of another Mendy error.

As for Senegal, despite creating a few chances in the second half, they failed to deliver suggesting they could become the first African team to go beyond the quarter-finals in Qatar. Their clash with Ecuador next Tuesday is set to be the game that will decide their fate.

2. No Sadio Mane, no party for Senegal — and the Dutch will soon go home

We already knew that Sadio Mane would be a big loss for Senegal, but the injury that has ruled their all-time record goalscorer out of Qatar 2022 has left Aliu Cisse’s side deprived of attack. No danger of moving on without Senegal Bayern Munich forward, with Watford Ismaila Sarr And salernitana‘s bole diya Nowhere near the level of his star team-mate. They are a team full of talent and winning pedigree that won this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, but without a reliable forward, Senegal will not trouble the better teams in the tournament.

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And the same goes for the Netherlands, who will be contenders to go deeper into the competition if they have just one striker compared to their greats of recent times such as Robin van Persie, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Marco van Basten. . Louis van Gaal’s squad has world class players virgil van dijk And frankie de jongBut their attacking players are a level below what the Dutch really need if they are to succeed in Qatar. memphis depewho started as a substitute, was joint top scorer with harry kane in the European section of the World Cup qualifiers, but barcelona The forward isn’t going to bother top teams and neither is his choice luq de jong And wout weghorst,

Cody Gakpo might be there, but PSV Eindhoven can’t carry Dutch hopes on their own, even if they win this game with a late goal. In all likelihood the runners-up in this group will face England in the second round and neither Senegal nor the Netherlands are strong enough to beat Gareth Southgate’s side.

3. Where are the fans missing?

In the days leading up to the start of the World Cup, competition to buy tickets for the games was so intense that only six group games held minimum availability. According to FIFA, almost every ticket was sold out and we had packed stadiums for every match. But the Al Thumama Stadium was nowhere near packed for a match between the African champions and one of Europe’s best-supported teams.

The official attendance was announced as 41,721 – not bad for a stadium listed in the Official World Cup Guide as having a 40,000 capacity. So where were all the fans and why so many empty seats? During the opening game of the tournament between Qatar and Ecuador, mass exodus of supporters in the second half was one of the most surprising results and it raised the question of what kind of fan is buying tickets and coming.

They may be locals who have been impressed by the tournament but don’t have a real passion for the sport, so they are making an early departure from the Qatar Games, or they may have just bought tickets and decided not to attend Are. Some ticket packages required fans to purchase a batch of tickets for games they did not want to attend, but had to do so for the games that mattered most. But whatever the reason, it is bad for the World Cup that such lucrative games are being played in front of empty seats. Perhaps that’s why the incessant noise of the Senegalese fans’ band was so loud – the echo around the half-empty stadium made it incredibly noisy.

Player Rating (1 = worst, 10 = best)

Senegal: Mendi 5; Sabli 6, Coulibaly 7, Sis 6, Diallo 6; Couette 6, Mendy 6; Dutta 6, I Guey 6, Sarr 6; Dia 6.

sub: Jacobs 6, Deng 6, Pei Guye 6, Jackson 6.

Netherlands: nopert 8; De Ligt 6, Van Dijk 6, Eck 7; Dumfries 6, de Jong 7 Burghuis 6, Blind 6; Gakpo 7; Janssen 6, Bergwijn 6.

sub: Depay 6, Coopminers 6, Klaassen 7, De Roon 6.

best and worst performers

Best: andries knoppert

The Dutch goalkeeper was making his international debut, but Diamonds Firstly there was no sign of nerves during a masterful display that was as crucial to the win as Cody Gakpo’s goal. The post saves from Boulay Dia in the second half were particularly important.

Worst: Edward Mendy

The World Cup is all about producing results in the big moments and Senegal’s keeper Mendy’s failure to time Frankie de Jong’s cross for Gakpo’s goal cost his side a point. Chelsea The keeper then brought down a Memphis Depay shot in stoppage time to gift Davy Klaasen the second goal.

Highlights and Notable Moments

Senegalese fans always come with gusto.

A second goal in injury time sealed victory for the Netherlands as Louis van Gaal’s men got off to a good start.

After the match: What the players and managers said

Quotes to come…

Key Stats (Provided by ESPN Stats & Info)

– Netherlands: Extends winning streak to 7 matches in FIFA World Cup group stage; It is unbeaten in its last 14 WC GS games (last loss: 1994 vs BEL)

Cody Gakpo’s goal is the sixth goal scored by a Netherlands player in the 80th minute or later.


Senegal: Aliu Cisse’s men will next face Qatar on November 25 and then Ecuador on November 29, a must-win game for both if they hope to make it to the knockouts.

Netherlands: A winning start is just what the Dutch needed, and they play Ecuador on 25 November followed by Qatar on 29 November.

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