Netherlands secure opening game victory against Senegal after Mendy errors

Netherlands secure opening game victory against Senegal after Mendy errors
The Dutch got their campaign off to a good start
The Dutch got their campaign off to a good start
StatsPerform, Profimedia
The Netherlands missed a number of big chances in the first half, but Senegal caused a shaky defence a number of issues, with Matthijs de Ligt really struggling. However, the second half was a dull affair, but late goals from Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaasen, as well as errors from Edouard Mendy, gave the Dutch a less-than-impressive victory.

19:06 CET: Not really the best spectacle, but I guess the Dutch will take that. They've beaten arguably the best team in their group, so will be feeling confident about getting out of Group A. However, they lacked any sort of firepower in the final third and I'm not sure how that is going to improve. They even struggled in the first half defensively, and Van Gaal will be desperate to sort that issue out. De Jong played well in midfield though, with a lot of the good stuff going through him.

Senegal will be so disappointed with that. They started really well, but completely fizzled out in the second half. Did they go into their shell, fearing they would lose the game? 

There is no doubt about just how much they missed Sadio Mane though. Without him, they looked so feeble up top. Where are the goals going to come from? At least they got the toughest game out of the way. But saying that, if Mendy didn't have such a shocker in goal, they would have potentially come out of that game with a draw. They will be looking to bounce back when they take on Qatar next.

So that's that. Check out our match report, written by Chris Wilson, and see the match stats below. Next up today is Wales vs USA, which we will also be covering.

Full time stats

Second Half

19:01 CET: With what looks to be the last kick of the game, Klaasen secures the three points for the Netherlands. Depay found himself in some space after a flick on, and his weak shot was parried out by Mendy, only for Klaasen to tap home. The Senegal keeper, however, looks to be at fault yet again. He could have parried the ball anywhere, but instead, directed the ball into a dangerous area. He's had a really poor game today.

And that will also be that. The full time whistle blows. The Netherlands win a pretty dull game of football. The first half seemed promising, but the final 45 minutes was nothing short of dismal. The Netherlands come away with the three points, but they will have to do a lot of improving if they want to make a mark in the tournament.

18:54 CET: Five of eight added minutes have been played, and Senegal are going out timidly here. They have barely caused the Dutch an issue in the second half, which is so disappointing as it was clear that their opponents looked a bit suspect defensively.

18:44 CET: FINALLY, A GOAL! After an awful second half, the Netherlands take the lead. Gakpo gets onto the end of a dangerous cross from De Jong, and flicks the ball into the net with Edouard Mendy caught in no man's land. The Chelsea goalkeeper will be really disappointed, but finally, something has happened.

18:39 CET: A double change for the Dutch. Berghuis and Bergwijn are taken off, Davy Klaasen and Teun Koopmeiners hoping to inject some cutting edge.

18:38 CET: Well, it's been a really poor second half. Van Dijk has been the player to take the most shots in the match so far, summing up the quality in the final third.

Match stats

18:32 CET: Gueye has a good chance on the edge of the box, but his shot is straight down the keeper's throat. Oh, the linesman has blown for offside. Wouldn't have counted

Senegal are also forced into another substitution, as Kouyate is stretchered off with an injury. Pape Gueye replaced him. Diatta is also removed, Nicolas Jackson replaces him. That will be their final change of the game, with their three windows used up.

18:28 CET: Dia is now replaced, with Bamba Dieng getting his chance.

18:25 CET: Boulaye Dia gives debutant Noppert something to do in goal, with a sharp snapshot forcing him into a save at the near post.

18:22 CET: Here he comes. Netherlands' main man up front, Memphis Depay, replaces Janssen, hoping to spark some life into the game.

Abdou Diallo is replaced for Senegal, with Ismail Jakobs taking his place.

18:18 CET: A subdued start to the second half, with both teams struggling to create chances now.

18:05 CET: The second half kicks off, with both teams looking to break the deadlock. Van Gaal has made no changes to his defence.

First Half

The Dutch defence has looked very vulnerable at times, and Senegal have tried to exploit them on the flanks. De Ligt has been extremely shaky and struggled against Sarr. Van Gaal could look to change something. 

Senegal Attacking Areas

17:49 CET: And that's half time. Despite there being no goals, it has been a fun first half. Senegal started really well, but the Netherlands grew into the game and began to gain control. The Dutch created by far the better opportunities too, with Gakpo and De Jong missing guilt-edge chances.

17:44 CET: De Ligt is struggling on the right side of a back three, with Sarr causing him all sorts of problems.

17:32 CET: 30 minutes gone, the Dutch are beginning to gather some more momentum in an entertaining contest, despite some iffy moments at the back.

The Netherlands are gaining more control of the game

17:20 CET: Frenkie de Jong misses a huge chance for the Netherlands. He takes too long to get a strike off with the goal gaping, and Senegal manage to get the ball away.

17:19 CET: The Senegal fans are in full flow, and their players seem to be responding well with a pretty bright start to the contest.

17:06 CET: Gakpo gets in for the Dutch but opts to square it despite having a clear sight of goal. No one can get on the end of his pass.

17:01 CET: The game kicks off with the Netherlands getting things underway.


Krepin Diatta starts for Senegal as Mane's replacement, alongside Ismaila Sarr and Boulaye Dia.

Abdou Diallo does make the starting XI after doubts over his fitness, but he looks to be playing at left back with Senegal struggling in that area of the pitch. Kalidou Koulibaly will be their main man at the heart of defence.

Louis Van Gaal makes the bold choice of making Andries Noppert his first choice goalkeeper, despite never playing for the national team before.

Denzel Dumfries has been passed fit to start for the Dutch and takes up his position as the right wing back of Van Gaal's three at the back system. Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk and Nathan Ake are the three chosen centre backs.

Vincent Janssen is the man who gets the nod up front in place of the injured Depay, and will be looking to impress.

Senegal: Mendy; Diallo, Cisse, Koulibaly, Diallo; Gueye, Nampalys, Kouyate; Sarr, Boulaye Dia, Diatta

Netherlands: Noppert; Blind, Ake, Van Dijk, De Ligt, Dumfries; De Jong, Berghuis, Gakpo; Bergwijn, Janssen

Team News

Senegal's talisman Sadio Mane was ruled out of the World Cup after suffering an injury for Bayern Munich, dealing the African side a massive blow in their chances of going on a run in the competition.

The Netherlands are without striker Memphis Depay, who is out of the first group stage match at least.


You can follow all the action from Senegal and the Netherlands' opening match at the 2022 World Cup using our audio commentary feature which starts five minutes before kick-off.

Find our audio commentary here.