2022 World Cup: Senegal 0 – 2 Netherlands – ‘Toothless’ Teranga Lions succumb to Oranje


African Champions Senegal succumbed to the Netherlands in their first 2022 FIFA World Cup game on Monday evening despite playing so well for 85 minutes of the match.

The Teranga Lions were undoubtedly the best team in the opening 45 minutes of the match and started to shake at the back of the defense when Abdou Diallo and Cheikhu Kouyate got substituted through injury.

Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy was to be blamed for all two goals conceded by the Senegalese due to poor judgment in the second half of the match.

Cody Gakpo’s late header and a 99th-minute strike from substitute Davy Klaassen put Netherlands in pole position to qualify as Group A winners as they condemned Senegal to a dispiriting defeat in their opening 2022 World Cup match.

The contest between the two highest-ranked teams in the group looked to be heading for a drab goalless draw until Gakpo rose to glance home Frenkie De Jong’s floated ball into the area ahead of Edouard Mendy.

The Chelsea goalkeeper also might have done better in the ninth minute of injury time as he could only parry a weak effort from Memphis Depay into the path of fellow Dutch substitute Davy Klaassen, who swept home the clinching goal.

Senegal looked relatively toothless in attack in the absence of their talisman and top scorer Sadio Mane, ruled out of the tournament after knee surgery.

Ismaila Sarr whipped in a curling effort which Virgil Van Dijk diverted over in the first half, while Pape Gueye forced into debutant goalkeeper Andries Noppert into a late save, but the African champions lacked energy and a cutting edge.

Senegal will play Ecuador who beat Qatar on the opening day of the tournament on Friday and must avoid a defeat to stand a chance of making it to the knockout stages.

Netherlands on the other hand will face host nation Qatar in their second group A game on Friday as well.

By: D. N. A. MENSAH, Daily Mail GH /Follow the writer @SkipperWrites on Twitter

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