from HUSSEIN HUSSAIN in Doha, Qatar
DOHA, (CAJ News) – AHEAD of this Group A encounter at the Al Thumama Stadium, Netherlands had never lost to African opposition at the World Cup.
Senegal had never lost to European opponents at the same tournament.
At the end of 90 minutes, it is Senegal that lost that proud record as late goals by Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen secured the Dutch a somewhat hard-earned victory.
Astonishingly, it was the two only shots on target that the Dutch managed at Edouard Mendy’s goal at that point.
PSV Eindhoven striker Gakpo powered home an 84th minute header after the Senegalese failed to deal with a cross from the right.
Substitute Klaassen hit the sucker puncher in the ninth minute of injury time when the Ajax star finished off a low cross by fellow substitute Memphis Depay, after a brilliant run.
Chasing an equalizer in a game they deserved something from after a solid performance, Senegal always ran a risk of being caught on the counter.
In the absence of star player, Sadio Mane, through injury, coach Aliou Cisse had deployed Boulaye Dia as the main striker with support from Krepin Diatta and Ismaila Sarr.
Dutch defender Matthijs De Ligt almost gifted the West Africans a dream start after he gave the ball away in the opening minute but the effort by Dia was thwarted for a corner but nothing came out of the set piece.
Action was to wane further in the half with teams not making much of the shots at goal.
The second stanza had a similar outlook until that late relapse by the Senegalese.
This result condemns Senegal to joint-bottom with hosts Qatar, who lost by a similar margin to Ecuador on Sunday. Ecuador and Netherlands are joint top.
This makes the upcoming matches on Friday six pointers.
Senegal play Qatar and Netherlands tackle Ecuador.
– CAJ News