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Senegal stumbles against Netherlands in World Cup Group A

Senegal has changed drastically since 2018. The team looks more powerful, more rigid, and more lethal than the 2018 team. That team four years ago only bowed out due to Fair Play Rules as a tiebreaker. The Lions of Teranga went 100 minutes with a team projected to forge a deep run into the knockout rounds. And they did it without star player Sadio Mane.

The AFCON-winning side may have lost their opening match. Still, they are in a position to show the world its new, exciting talent.

Gakpo and Klaassen score as the game closes

Unlike the England-Iran shootout, the World Cup opener between Senegal and Netherlands was a close, defensively-oriented matchup. The two opposing goalies did not worry much as both nations looped shot after shot over the crossbar. For both sides, breaking through seemed impossible. Of course, there were chances. Frenkie de Jong nearly opened up the scoring in the 19th minute. The Barcelona midfielder was alone in the box. However, he took too much time on the box, letting Senegal slam the ball away.

Ismaila Sarr nearly gave Senegal its first goal of the tournament when he beat Denzel Dumfries on the wing. Big Virgil van Dijk sent his looping shot away for a corner. In the middle of the second half, Dutch stopper Andries Noppert had to make a diving save to contest Boulaye Dia’s strike and keep his clean sheet. Yet, for the most part, the match looked like it would end in a stalemate.

Enter PSV midfielder Cody Gakpo.

In the 84th minute, Frenkie de Jong guided a beautiful cross into the heart of the box. Only Gakpo, ready to attack, was in the box. Maybe Edouard Mendy didn’t see him out of his peripheral vision. Maybe Mendy thought he could outpace Gakpo. Whatever the reason, Gakpo caught Mendy at the right time to sneakily guide a header past his outstretched hands and into the bottom left corner of the net. One-nil to the Netherlands.

Tension rose and the Lions of Teranga grew impatient. They shot from far out,…

Source link : https://worldsoccertalk.com/news/senegal-stumbles-against-netherlands-in-world-cup-group-a-20221121-WST-409308.html

Author : Deolu Akingbade

Publish date : 2022-11-21 21:07:47

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