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HomeCelebrity NewsNetherlands Seals A Last-Minute Victory Over A Senegalese Team Deprived Of Star...

Netherlands Seals A Last-Minute Victory Over A Senegalese Team Deprived Of Star Sadio Mané

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The world’s most prestigious international football tournament kicked off on Sunday in Qatar with a pool A fixture, ending in a 2-0 Ecuadorian victory over the host country. And even though Senegal fought valiantly for over 80 minutes, the first African country to enter the competition suffered the same fate against the Netherlands, which emerged victorious in their first World Cup match since 2014.

Qualifying for a second FIFA World Cup in a row, Senegal made its first appearance yesterday in the second match of group A. But the Qatar debut of the Lions of Teranga did not go as planned. Despite holding their ground during 80 minutes, the African champion could not stop Cody Gakpo from scoring a late goal for the Dutch side in the 84th minute. Davy Klaassen would ensure victory for the Oranje in the final seconds of the extra time, in the 99th minute.

The Senegalese team had been off to a solid start, however, creating several chances throughout the game. The first half might have been loaded with Dutch opportunities, but a wicked right-footed shot by forward Ismaila Sarr would have made its way into the net if not for a defensive header from Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk. And the squad led by coach Aliou Cissé picked up the pace after halftime. Boulaye Dia saw his shot turned aside by Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert, while a powerful strike by Everton midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye was deflected in the 73rd.

But as stout as it were, the Senegalese backline eventually gave way minutes after Louis van Gaal bolstered his attacking line-up. Hampered by a hamstring injury, Memphis Depay subbed in for fellow forward Vincent Janssen in the 62nd minute, giving the Netherlands much-needed ammunition to strike that precious goal after a mostly uninspired second half. With only six minutes left on the pitch before injury time, Gakpo finally broke the deadlock following a costly mistake by Senegalese goalie Edouard Mendy. The Chelsea goalkeeper was no luckier when he failed to control an inoffensive-looking shot from Depay, leading the ball directly into Davy Klaassen, who would secure a comfortable win for the Dutch side.

Many fans took to social media like Twitter to lament Mendy’s poor performance. But the absence of another key player was even more keenly felt. Picking up an injury during Bayern’s 6-1 victory over Werder Bremen, star forward Sadio Mané was initially included in the Senegal squad regardless. But the team disclosed his withdrawal from the World Cup in a news conference held last Thursday.

Still, the Senegalese squad remains hopeful for the future. Despite the absence of its talented playmaker and this early loss, the game is not over yet for the enterprising winners of the 2022 Africa Cup. While the Netherlands sits joint-top with Ecuador in group A, Senegal can still dream of making it to the World Cup round of 16 starting on December 3rd. Twenty years after reaching the quarter-finals at the 2002 FIFA World Cup jointly held by Japan and South Korea, Senegal could even be heading for another exploit. Besides Senegal, only two African teams ever made it this far, Ghana and Cameroon. Nigeria and Algeria have also qualified for the knockout stages but failed to go any further.

One of five African nations to participate in the World Cup, Senegal is also the strongest African side for bookmakers. Online bookies like SBO display a range of betting options for punters to try their luck. With experts scouring the internet for the most profitable odds and bonuses, newcomers and seasoned bettors alike are a click away from the best platforms out there. Free guides and tips also help hone off a winning strategy. And of course, many more sports both niche and popular are on offer to make bank out of.

But if you’re sticking with catching football games, the Lions of Teranga are off to face Qatar on November 25th before taking upon Ecuador on November 29th. Tunisia is the second African nation to enter the stage against Denmark on Tuesday, while Morocco kicks off its competition on Wednesday against Croatia. So, who will leave the most memorable impression on all football lovers across the globe? Stay tuned for dozens of thrilling games before a new world champion surfaces in Doha on December 18th.

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