Netherlands Descend On Mane-less Senegal

The Netherlands won their Group A World Cup opener against Senegal thanks to two late goals.

With six minutes remaining, PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo beat Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to the ball, which was chipped in by Frenkie de Jong to put the Dutch ahead.

Substitute Davy Klaassen then pounced on a rebound from Memphis Depay’s shot to seal the victory deep into stoppage time.

Gakpo whirled away in celebration in front of the Senegal fans behind the goal as the Dutch fans rose to their feet at the other end of the Al Thumama Stadium in a sea of orange.

They were already chanting their team’s name, knowing victory was close at hand.

Senegal had threatened throughout the game, and Papa Gueye had fired a finish towards the bottom left corner, but Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert got his fingertips to it.

For long stretches, the game hinted at a goal, but neither side was ruthless. Dutch manager Louis van Gaal even jeopardized Depay’s fitness by bringing him on as a second-half substitute in the hope of finding a way through.

The risk paid off as the Netherlands earned a crucial three points in a game that many believe will determine the Group A winner.