Netherlands strike late to win 2-0 against Senegal at World Cup


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By Karolos GrohmannReuters

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The Netherlands scored twice in the final minutes through Cody Gakpo and substitute Davy Klaassen to beat Senegal 2-0 in their World Cup Group A match at Al Thumama Stadium on Monday.

The Dutch, absent from the 2018 edition world Cuplooked to be heading for a goalless draw after wasting several chances, but man of the match Gakpo beat keeper Edouard Mendy to nod Frenkie De Jong’s cross with the back of the head.

Klaassen then jumped on a weak save from Mendy to score on the rebound nine minutes into stoppage time.

The Dutch join Ecuador, who won 2-0 hosts Qatar on Sunday, with three points, the top two meeting on Friday.

“It was a tough game and we didn’t pay attention to the ball,” Gakpo said. “I think we can do a lot better but the win obviously gives us a good feeling.”

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“We were clearly looking for a goal and we finally got it,” he said.

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The 23-year-old, who has now scored three times in his last four international appearances, had his first chance after four minutes but tried to give Steven Bergwijn the ball instead of aiming for the goal.

This was followed by a Daley Blind header at the far post which flew wide before Steven Berghuis sent Bergwijn on and he laid the ball for De Jong unmarked in the box.

The midfielder, however, took far too long to let go of the ball and his effort was blocked.

The African champions were sorely missing injured talisman Sadio Mane and only managed a shot on target in the 65th minute when Boulaye Dia tried to sneak past goalkeeper Andries Noppert, making his Dutch debut, from a tight angle .

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Senegal had a bit more possession in the second half, but despite the incessant drumming of their small group of supporters in the stands, they couldn’t find the back of the net.

To make matters worse, Cheikhou Kouyate had to be taken out with injury before Gakpo snuck in to snatch the opening goal.

Klaassen secured the points with a tap-in in stoppage time after Mendy hit a Memphis Depay shot on his way.

The Dutch are now unbeaten in 16 matches under coach Louis van Gaal. They also stretched an unbeaten record in their opener at World Mugs which dates from 1938

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