Cody Gakpo scored on his World Cup debut to help the Netherlands produce one of the narrow football scores of the midweek action in the World Cup. Frenkie de Jong’s superbly weighted cross was headed in by Gakpo at the precise moment, and Klaassen added the winning goal in stoppage time. In their current 16 games, the Dutch are unbeaten under coach Louis van Gaal. Additionally, they extended a streak of World Cup opening games without a loss that dated back to 1938.
After four minutes, Gakpo, who has now scored three goals in his past four international matches, got their first opportunity but chose to square the ball to Steven Bergwijn rather than try to score. Then, Steven Berghuis sent Bergwijn through, and he laid it off for the open De Jong in the area after a wide-flying Daley Blind header at the far post. However, the midfielder’s attempt was blocked because he took too long to release the ball.
Sadio Mane, the African champions’ injured talisman, was severely missed, and Boulaye Dias, making his Dutch debut, attempted to sneak a chance past goalkeeper Andries Noppert in the 65th minute. Despite the persistent pounding of their small fan base in the stands, Senegal had more possession in the second half but was unable to score. To make matters worse, before Gakpo slipped in to steal the opening goal, Cheikhou Kouyate had to be substituted due to injury. After Mendy palmed a Memphis Depay shot into his path in stoppage time, Klaassen secured the three points with a tap-in.
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