The Netherlands defeated Senegal in Group A’s World Cup opening thanks to two late goals from them.
Frenkie de Jong chipped the ball into the box, and PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo sprinted to the ball before Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to give the Dutch the lead with six minutes left.
After Memphis Depay’s strike rebounded, substitute Davy Klaasen pounced to add a second in stoppage time to seal the victory.
The Dutch supporters at the other end of the Al Thumama Stadium leapt to their feet as Gakpo spun away in jubilation in front of the Senegal fans behind the goal.
As soon as they realized they had won, the Dutch fans started screaming the name of their squad..
Prior to Davy’s goal, Senegal, who had made threats throughout the game, nearly tied it when Papa Gueye blasted a shot into the bottom left corner, but Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert stopped it with his fingertips.
Long stretches of the game hinted at a goal, but neither side was merciless. Louis van Gaal, the manager of the Netherlands, even jeopardized Depay’s health by substituting him in the second half of the game.
The gamble paid off as the Netherlands earned three crucial points in a match that many observers predict will determine Group A’s champion.
With Ecuador’s 2-0 victory over the hosts Qatar on Sunday night, they are currently tied for first place in the group.
The number of times they troubled the Dutch defense during the competition gave Sadio Mane’s team hope despite the fact that they appeared to be missing their main attacking threat.