Senegal lost against Netherlands 0:2

Wf the design of the high-rise buildings in Doha should actually say something about the attractiveness of the preliminary round games, then the duel between the Dutch and the Senegal were among the highlights of the group stage.

Messi, Kane, Neuer and Bale can be seen there, and right next to the Dutchman Virgil van Dijk Sadio Mané from Senegal looks down from one of the glass towers in the center of Doha.

Maybe it was the superstar’s absence from the FC Bayern, that the audience didn’t get to see a big spectacle when the Dutch won 2-0 between the two nations. In return, the two teams offered a balanced World Cup game in which two very different football cultures met. Just as it should be at this tournament, which is now slowly picking up speed. The match was decided by two very late goals from Cody Gakpo (88′) and Davy Klaassen (90’+9′).

“I think we can play much better. But of course the win gives us a good feeling,” said goalscorer Gakpo: “It’s nice to score again.” His coach Louis van Gaal commented: “We didn’t have so many problems when the opponent had the ball. I wasn’t happy with our ball possession periods. It didn’t get any better after the break either, so the changes after the break were the key.”

In the first half in particular, the Dutch played the kind of football that the local traditionalists like: bold, fast and on the wings, but – in keeping with tradition – not particularly cold-blooded when it comes to scoring.

Above all on the right side, via Denzel Dumfries, Steven Berghuis and Cody Gakpo, the ensemble was old masters Louis van Gaal always dangerous. And the Senegalese were physically present, well organized and when they could, they carried their attacks forward themselves.

But the Dutch were more active at first. Apart from van Dijk from Liverpool FC and de Jong (Barcelona), this time they didn’t appear as a selection of superstars from the biggest clubs in the world, but with a young, interesting team.

Just four minutes into the game, Steven Bergwijn narrowly tackled a ball into the six-yard box, Daley Blind had a good header opportunity (16′) and de Jong was too indecisive when he was passed freely in the penalty area, but found the right moment to score missed (19).

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