Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the Senegal vs Netherlands Group A match at the Al Thumama Stadium.
That is the end of the game! Netherlands take three points and there are a few upset faces in the Senegal camp. They were in the game, right till the end but it eventually went Netherlands’ way. The Dutch had no shot on target till the 84th minute. Two after that minute saw them score twice. This takes them to the top of the table, ahead of Ecuador. Netherlands will now take on Ecuador while Senegal faces Qatar.
KLAAAAAAAASEENNNN! The Dutch seal it with the late goal! It is Dutch delight in Qatar.
In - De Roon, Out - Gakpo
Noppert with another crucial save. Sabaly lets another shot go from outside the box. This one has power and stays low, almost parallel to the ground. Noppert gets down low and puts his left hand in the path to steer the ball away from the target.
GAKPOOOOOOOO!!!!! The Dutch take the lead. And it is the none other than the 2021 player of the year that takes them ahead.
A long move by Senegal ends with Jakobs playing a ball in to the penalty area. Sarr is vying for it and appeals for a pull on his shirt as he goes down. The decision - goal kick.
In - Koopmeiners, Klaasen ; Out - Bergwijn, Berghuis
The stat chart shows that the Netherlands have failed to manage a shot on target from the 7 attempts they have had. Senegal have managed three.
In - Jackson, Out - Diatta
Noppert saves again! What a save! Senegal again launches a counter attack. Gueye passes to Sarr on the left, and he in turns covers ground and return it to the central midfielder. Upon getting the ball back, Gueye shoots. The ball is bang in the centre and Noppert has to get a strong hand behind the bal to save.
Kouyate has to be subbed off as he suffers a pull in his thigh. He is stretchered off. Pape Gueye comes in in place of the injured midfielder.
In - Dieng, Out - Dia
De Jong loses the ball and Senegal launches an attack. Dia takes the shot and Noppert had to get low on his left to make the save. The corner is defended by the Dutch. Van Gaal would be thanking the custodian for that save.
In - Jakobs, Out - Diallo
In - Depay, Out - Janssen
Senegal play a cross from the left flank. Dia tries a flicking header but the ball goes over him. Diatta is in place for that situation but the ball is slightly ahead of him. He manages to get a shot in but not on target.
Oh so close Van Dijk! Netherlands have a corner and Van Dijk again eases his jump over the Senegal defence to connect with the ball. The header however does not dip in time and goes over the cross bar.
Dia gets the ball and he launches into the Dutch half. Ake stands resolute and he steals the ball from the Senegal striker.
Senegal kicks the ball off for the second period. All to play for here at the Al Thumama Stadium. No changes in personnel at Half Time.
Possession - 46%, Shots - 6, Corners - 3
Possession - 54%, Shots - 5, Corners - 3
The scores are even at the half way mark. The game has been enticing and both teams have seen chances. De Jong would be ruing missing the one-on-one chance in the 19th minute. Both teams have looked like creating opportunities and the game has been end to end. Nicely set up for the second half.
There’s a long spell of play in the Senegal box. It is more of pin ball as the two sides fail to get the ball under control. Netherlands win a corner but nothing comes off it. Still 0-0!
Sabaly attempts an ambitious long range effort but the ball comes off the toe-end of his boot. It rolls along the ground to Noppert.
Netherlands gets a free kick in a similar position as they did in the 23rd minute. The delivery this time has too much power and Senegal manages to clear it.
De Jong makes a mess of a pass. He is cornered in his own penalty area and attempts a pass to Van Dijk That too is out of the defender’s reach. Senegal win the ball but the Dutch survive somehow.
Almost! Van Dijk is the tallest in the air off a corner. But the direction is lacking on the header and the ball crawls out for a Senegal goal kick. The Dutch seem to be getting into groove. Aliou Cisse would be feeling the nerves.
Van Dijk you beauty! What a clearance. Sarr collects a sumptuous take on the left flank, cuts in and takes a shot. The ball has the perfect amount of curl to head into the top right corner. But the defender is in place to head the ball away from the target. Netherlands defend the corner.
Netherlands win a free kick on the right side of the Senegal penalty area. Berghuis plays the cross in from the set piece but not enough elevation to test the keeper. An opportunity missed.
Oh no De Jong! Netherlands has a corner to defend. But the Dutch mount a counter attack and Berghuis manages to square the ball to De Jong. The Barcelona midfielder has only Mendy to beat but he overcomplicates the finish. Diallo swoops in to clear.
Blind’s header is wide! Gakpo creates an opportunity from nothing. He crosses the ball from the right and Blind is in the box. He could not steer his header on target and the ball goes wide.
Gakpo and Dumfries combine in the Senegal box on the right. The wingback cuts the ball back in but the Senegal defender is stationed just in place to clear the danger.
Dia steals the ball from Van Dijk through sheer industry. The Dutch defender cleared the ball but Dia relented and kept his chase to get to the ball on the right touchline. The move, though, fizzles out with a poor pass in the final third.
Senegal growing in confidence. They nick the ball away from Netherlands in their own half. Sarr receives the ball and shoots. The shot flies over the crossbar.
Cisse was well out of position and in the Dutch penalty area. He saw the chance to score from a cross and lunged in. The ball missed his foot by a whisker.
It has been even in the first few minutes here. Senegal have shaken off the chance Netherlands had and are controlling the ball yet again in the Oranje half.
Netherlands with a chance! Gakpo gets a through ball on a run and he decides to square it. Bergwijn was there but the ball lands behind him.
Early pressure from Senegal. They win a corner in the first minute but the set piece is cleared without any danger. Senegal controls the opening minutes of play.
The Netherlands get the ball rolling from the centre spot.
The team’s have exchanged greetings. The team photos are done. We are all set for the start of the game.
The Lions of Teranga have featured in two World Cups before 2022. They made it to the quarterfinals in 2002, the 2nd African team to do so. Will they be able to emulate the same? Their campaign start is moments away.
The Netherlands will be making a comeback to the World Cup after missing out in Russia in 2018.
Despite the absence of Mane, Senegal boasts of a strong team that has multiple European club players. The list includes Koulibaly, Cisse, Gueye, Kouyate and Sarr.
The Three Lions beat Iran 6-2 in the Group B match at the Khalifa International Stadium. Bukayo Saka starred with two goals and Rashford, Bellingham, Sterling and Grealish scored as well.
The Group A in the FIFA World Cup saw Ecuador beat Qatar 2-0 on Sunday. The winner of today’s game would want to win by a more than two goal margin to take the top spot.
Noppert is the tallest player in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. He stands at 2.03m and will be making his World Cup debut.
The Senegal striker was in good form before the World Cup but an injury ruled him out of the Qatar event. He tried to recover in time after his surgery but unable to. His absence could prove pivotal in Senegal making it past the group stage.
Noppert - Blind, Ake, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Dumfries - De Jong, Berghuis, Gakpo - Bergwijn, Janssen
The Netherlands were in blazing form in the recently concluded Nations League group stage. They remained unbeaten in the six games, winning five and ending on the top spot in their group against Wales, Poland and Belgium. This helped them qualify for the semifinals.
Netherlands - The Dutch team has been on a 15-game unbeaten run before the FIFA World Cup.
Senegal - The AFCON champion has struggled slightly in its recent games. In the last six games, it has won four, lost one and drawn one.
The Netherlands is looking to make two statements in its opening World Cup game on Monday against a Senegal team that has to quickly get over the loss of star forward Sadio Mane.
The first is strictly about football and establishing the team as a contender for the title in Qatar alongside the likes of top-ranked Brazil, defending champion France and Argentina. The Dutch have gained less attention in the buildup to the tournament after failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia four years ago, but arrive as one of the top form teams in Europe.
“We have a great chance of also becoming a world champion,” said Dutch coach Louis van Gaal, who is back for a third spell in charge. “There are few coaches who dare to speak out like that, but I say this.” The second statement the Dutch want to make at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha centers around the long-running criticism of the World Cup host country’s laws and human rights record.
The Group A game against African champion Senegal is the perfect early challenge for the Dutch and a good indicator of how far they might go.
Senegal will be without talisman Mane, who was ruled out of the World Cup on Thursday with injury. Mane, 30, underwent surgery for the right lower leg injury he sustained in a league game for Bayern Munich two weeks ago, removing Senegal’s most potent attacking threat and the heart of the team.
Senegal: Mendy - Sabaly, Cisse, Koulibaly, Ballo-Toure - Sarr, Mendy, Gueye - Sarr, Dia, Diatta
Netherlands: Pasveer - Timber, Van Dijk, Ake - Dunfries, Berghuis, De Jong, Gakpo, Blind - Bergwijn, Janssen
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