2022 World Cup: Netherlands score two late goals to beat Senegal
Two late goals from the Netherlands sealed a crucial victory in their World Cup opener against Senegal in Group A.
PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo beat Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to the ball when it was chipped in by Frenkie de Jong to nod the Dutch in front with six minutes remaining.
Substitute Davy Klaasen then pounced on a rebound from Memphis Depay’s shot to add a second deep into stoppage-time to confirm the success.
Gakpo whirled away in celebration in front of the Senegal fans behind the goal as the Dutch supporters, together in a sea of orange at the other end of the Al Thumama Stadium, rose to their feet.
The Dutch supporters were already chanting their team’s name as they knew victory was near before Klaasen made sure with seconds remaining.
Senegal, who had threatened throughout the match, came close to equalising before Davy’s goal when Papa Gueye fired it towards the bottom left corner moments but Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert got his fingertips to it.
It was a match which had teased a goal for long periods but both sides lacked ruthlessness. Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal even risked the fitness of Depay to bring him on as a second-half substitute in the hope of finding a way through.
The risk paid off as the Netherlands secured a vital three points in a game many believe could decide the winners of Group A.
They now sit joint-top in the group with Ecuador, who beat hosts Qatar 2-0 on Sunday evening.
Senegal, without injured key forward Sadio Mane during the competition, looked like a side missing their main attacking threat but can take confidence from the number of times they troubled the Dutch defence.