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Netherlands strike late to beat Senegal at World Cup

Netherlands strike late to beat Senegal at World Cup

Netherlands net two late goals during their World Cup fixture with Senegal to post a 2-0 victory at the Al Thumama Stadium.

While the majority of Monday’s Group A fixture lacked entertainment, Cody Gakpo opened the scoring six minutes from time to put Netherlands in front.

Senegal sensed an opportunity to equalise when eight minutes of added-on time were indicated, but Davy Klaasen made sure of the points in the final seconds.

After Ecuador eased to a 2-0 triumph over hosts Qatar on Sunday, Netherlands sit level on points with the South American nation ahead of their showdown on Friday.

Senegal and Netherlands competing at a set piece in their World Cup fixture on November 21, 2022.© Reuters

Both teams started brightly with Senegal’s Boulaye Dia seeing an effort deflected over the crossbar soon after kickoff and Cody Gakpo failing to pick out a teammate with a cutback when he probably should have taken on the shot himself.

Before the 10-minute mark, Ismaila Sarr also curled a strike over for the Lions of Teranga, before Daley Blind headed wide at the back post after towering high to meet a cross.

The openness to the game continued as Frenkie de Jong was found in acres of space inside the area, only for the Barcelona midfielder to crave too much time and fail to get a shot way.

The action swung one way and another as the game moved towards the half-hour mark, Sarr producing a blistering piece of skill on the edge of the area before his goalbound effort was superbly blocked by Virgil van Dijk.

Netherlands waste a chance in their World Cup fixture with Senegal on November 21, 2022.© Reuters

Although the industry of both sides was extended through the next half hour, chances at either end completely dried up with both sides noticeably missing the presence of Sadio Mane and Memphis Depay, with only a header from Van Dijk going close for Oranje.

Depay was soon introduced after the 60-minute mark had come and gone, but it was Senegal who created the next opportunity as Dia’s shot towards the near corner was parried away by debutant Andries Noppert.

The game appeared to be petering out with both sides seemingly satisfied with a point apiece, but De Jong and Gakpo finally brought some quality to a tedious second half.

Frenkie de Jong in action for Netherlands against Senegal at the World Cup on November 21, 2022.© Reuters

With six minutes remaining, De Jong’s inswinging cross found the perfectly-timed run of Gakpo, who beat goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to the ball to power a header into an empty net.

Naturally, Senegal went straight onto the offensive and a low long-range effort from Pape Gueye forced Noppert to scramble to his left to tip the ball wide.

As Senegal pushed further forward, more space opened up at the opposite end of the pitch, and Netherlands capitalised to net a second goal in the ninth minute of added-on time.

After Depay’s tame curling effort was palmed away by Mendy, Klaasen was on hand to convert from close range to seal what could prove to be decisive win come the end of the group.

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