Cody Gakpo opened the scoring for Netherlands in its third group stage match of the FIFA World Cup, against Qatar at the Al Bayt Stadium in Qatar on Tuesday.
Netherlands took the lead in the 26th minute when Davy Klaasen’s pass was received by Gakpo as he delivered a perfect finish past Qatar goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham. With the goal, Gakpo became the first man in this edition of the World Cup to score in three consecutive World Cup games.
But that was not the only record that the 23-year-old set at Qatar 2022 with the strike. He also became the first player in the Netherlands’ history to score in its first three games of a World Cup tournament.
Gakpo is only the second player to score the first goal of the match three times in the same group stage of a World Cup (1st and 2nd included), after Italy’s Alessandro Altobelli in Mexico 1986.
The forward also got level with Dutch legend Johan Cruyff in his World Cup goal tally, with both having three goals each to their name in the tournament.
The PSV Eindhoven striker is just the second player from the Netherlands to score with his left foot, his right foot and his head in a single edition of the World Cup, after Wesley Sneijder in 2010.
Only three Dutchmen had scored in three consecutive FIFA World Cup matches, namely Johan Neeskens (1974), Dennis Bergkamp (1994) and Wesley Sneijder (2010). After the goal against Qatar, Gakpo became the newest entry in that elite club.
Gakpo, with 13 goals and 17 assists for PSV Eindhoven, has more goal contributions that Manchester City striker Erling Haaland (23 goals, three assists) and has been one of the most in-demand youngsters in the transfer market with Manchester United reportedly interested in his signature.
Netherlands sits on top of the points table at the moment, with Louis Van Gaal’s side unbeaten in the FIFA World Cup so far and a win against Qatar, will secure its qualification in the round of 16.
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