Netherlands—2 Senegal—0

(Cody Gakpo, Davy Klassen)

When the goal was not scored until the 84th minute, it seemed that the match would be a draw. But how many things happen in football! A team’s goalkeeper kept the team intact by saving one after another. Another team’s goalkeeper made two fatal mistakes at the end and lost the team. The lucky team is the Netherlands. Nobody seems to have heard of their goalkeeper Andrey Knoppert. Homeland Heerenven club goalkeeper. This club plays in the Dutch league. But they have no virtue. On the other hand, Senegal’s goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is known by football circles. Chelsea’s goalkeeper is one of the best in the English Premier League. But it was Mendy who sank his country at the Al Thumama Stadium on Monday. Otherwise, Senegal did not play like a loser. The African champions went into the field without their best player and captain Sadio Mane. Meaning cannot be created overnight. But the fight they fought without meaning is worth remembering. Senegal coach Aliou Cisse is a former captain of their country. He is in charge of the country after 2018. He was the captain of the country in the Korea-Japan World Cup in 2002. Seber’s team defeated world champions France in the first match. Made it to the quarter finals. Although Senegal lost the first match due to the fault of the goalkeeper, they cannot be ruled out. Ajax Amsterdam’s Davy Klaassen ended Senegal’s woes in the 100th minute after PSV Eindhoven’s tall striker Cody Gakpo scored in the 84th minute. This thirty-year-old striker came to the field as a substitute.

The relationship between the Netherlands and the World Cup is sometimes good, sometimes bad. This is the only country that has reached the final three times but has not been crowned champion. They were unlucky to lose for the first time to hosts Germany in 1974 and four years later to hosts Argentina. And Spain lost Johan Cruyff last time. But not in their own country, but in South Africa. The Netherlands finished third next time out in Brazil. The coach of that team, Louis van Gaal, is also in charge of the country this time. But he does not have world famous stars like Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie or Wesley Sneijder. But those who are may not be Robben or Sneijder, but the football world knows them. Who doesn’t know the name of Barcelona’s two star midfielder Frankie de Jong or Memphis Deep. In the end these two contributed to the Netherlands’ two goals. In the 84th minute, Gakpo followed De Jong’s pinpoint cross and there was no Senegal defender with him. Goalkeeper Mendy came forward. But the six-foot-four-inch Gakpo headed over his hand.

Before and after that the Senegal forwards took one shot after another. Andre Knoppert saved them in the face of entering the goal. Sometimes he lay down with his left hand. Sometimes fisted with both hands. Since football is a game of goals, Gakpo was the man of the match. But Knoppert could also get this honor. And Mendi? He had a really bad day. In the 100th minute, Memphis saved a deep shot. The ball slipped out of his hand. Davi Klaasen raced to score the return ball. Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool kept his defense intact. Having a center back like him boosts team morale a lot. But all would have been in vain without goalkeeper Knoppert. The Netherlands won the first match. This was the toughest match of this group. They don’t need to gain momentum to beat Ecuador or Qatar in the next two matches. However, Senegal cannot be dismissed. Every day will not be a bad day.

The post Senegal goalkeeper Mendy drowned, Netherlands won with two goals appeared first on Kolkata TV.

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