Mon. Nov 28th, 2022

Key events

Half time: Senegal 0-0 Netherlands

Peep! A reasonably absorbing first half between two decent sides ended goalless. The Netherlands looked threatening, but in Ismaila Sarr, Senegal had the most dangerous player on the pitch. He is giving Matthijs De Ligt very painful moments and his teammates need to put him on the ball more.

44 min: It’s been a decent game so far, but neither goalkeeper has been tested. Two years ago, if you were wondering, Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert was without a club, unemployed and seriously considering giving up football to join the Dutch police. His opposite, Edouard Mendy also had a well-documented spell in the football wilderness and was unemployed and on welfare as recently as 2016.

42 min: Senegal wins from a free kick at the front edge of the Dutch penalty area. Idrissa Gueye’s attempted cross is poor and fails to clear the first defender.

41 min: Ismaila Sarr throws the ball across the Dutch penalty area, and Nathan Ake catches it.

Nathan Ake clears the danger.
Nathan Ake clears the danger. Photo: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

40 min: On the edge of Senegal’s penalty area, Steven Berghuis runs into Vincent Janssen’s cut-off and sends the ball high over the goal.

38 min: Ismaila Sarr races to collect a long Ciss ball from deep along the touchline under pressure from Matthijs De Ligt. He looked dangerous on the rare occasions he was on the ball.

36 min: The Dutch corner after lifting De Jong from a distance goes to Papa Abou Cisse’s head. It’s not going to happen.

34 min: Bergwijn sends the ball wide to Blind, whose cross from the left falls for Dumfries in the Senegal penalty area. He can’t guess.

31 min: The Netherlands were awarded a free kick in another promising position due to Cisse’s foul on Janssen. It is almost level with the right edge of Senegal’s penalty area. Cody Bakpo lifts the ball towards the far post, where it is cleared.

30 minutes: Virgil van Dijk and Frenkie De Jong crossed paths, the latter failing to receive a pass from the latter after turning his back. Idrissa Gueye pounces, but sends a quick shot wide.

28 min: Idrissa Gueye and Cheik Kouyate combine down the right flank for Senegal, but they can’t find a way through the Dutch backline.

26 min: Dumfries’ attempted cross goes into the corner of Senegal’s left-back Abdou Diallo. VIrgil van Dijk shoots the oncoming striker well over the bar, then is harshly judged as he returns to his position.

Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk is unable to get a header on target.
Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk is unable to get a header on target. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

25 min: With just over a quarter of the game to go, there is little to choose between the two teams. The Netherlands are in the lead, but they were sweating even more after Ismaila Sarr cut in from the left with her shoulder down and curled a shot towards the goal. Virgil van Dijk heads the ball.

23 min: The stadium appears to have filled up significantly since kick-off, suggesting that fans here may have been suffering from the same ticketing app issues that plagued England and Iran supporters before their match earlier today.

21 min: Netherlands from a free kick, a few meters outside Senegal’s penalty area, along the right edge. Berghuis’ curled delivery isn’t great and Senegal clear comfortably.

19 min: Great ball from Bergwijn picks out Steven Berghuis. He matches up with Frenkie De Jong, who somehow manages not to get a shot even though he seems to have all the time in the world. He twists and turns, allowing Senegal’s defense to regroup and force him off the ball.

16 min: Daley Blind leaps above Youssef Sabaly at the far post and connects with Cody Gakpo’s cross. His downward header bounces the wrong side of the upright.

14 min: Gakpo and Dumfries combine on the inside right, but the latter’s pull goes straight to the Senegalese defender.

Virgil van Dijk and Boulaye Dia from Senegal in formation.
Virgil van Dijk and Boulaye Dia from Senegal in formation. Photo: Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

11 min: After only 10 minutes, players from both sides are drenched in sweat. Senegal attack, but Krepin Diatta loses the ball after a strong touch before being able to cross from the right.

10 min: Denzel Dumfries picks up the ball on the right touchline and crosses into Senegal’s penalty area. Edouard Mendy claims confidently at the far post.

9 min: Ismaila Sarr shoots on the turn from distance after receiving a pass through the middle with his back to goal. His effort flies high over the bar.

7 min: Early mistakes at both ends in an open game but no goals or chances of note yet. Senegal attack on the right and the cross is lifted towards the far post. Showing all the agility of a centre-half of his size, Pape Abou Cisse is unable to connect with the dropped ball and direct it towards the goal from a small angle.

3 min: After that uncertain start, the Netherlands is improving and should have taken the lead. Steven Bergwijn can’t finish Cody Gakpo’s low cross into the Senegal penalty area after Edouard Mendy burst off his line and was caught in no man’s land.

1 minute: Holland pass the ball around the back and try to advance until Matthijs De Ligt clears the ball. Ismaila Sarr pounces and pulls the ball towards Boulaye Dia, whose shot is blocked by Frenkie De Jong. The ball goes into the corner, from which nothing comes.

Senegal vs Netherlands game…

1 minute: After Ecuador’s victory over Qatar last night, the second match of Group A of the tournament begins with the Dutch. The Dutch footballers wear orange shirts, shorts and cleats. The African champions are in white shirts, white shorts and white socks.

Dutchman Denzel Dumfries in action with Senegalese Krepin Diatta.
Dutchman Denzel Dumfries in action with Senegalese Krepin Diatta. Photo: Molly Darlington/Reuters

They come out: Both sets of players take the field and stand on either side of referee Wilton Sampaio and his team of match officials for the singing of the national anthems.

Not long: The teams are in the tunnel waiting for the end of the extravagant light and pyrotechnics show at the currently half-full (at best) Al-Thumama stadium before taking the field. We hope for a strong, competitive game. This is the third tournament, and the two that preceded it were ridiculously one-sided events.

Explosive scenes before the match.
Explosive scenes before the match. Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Those teams: The Netherlands fielded uncapped goalkeeper Andries Noppert in their starting line-up, while Senegal selected Krepin Diatta as Sadio Mane’s replacement. Senegal have nine players from the African Cup of Nations winning team in their starting line-up.

After much speculation over the identity of the Dutch goalkeeper, coach Louis van Gaal chose Noppert, who at 6ft 8in is the tallest player at this World Cup, despite the fact that he has yet to play for the national team. Denzel Dumfries starts at right-back for the Netherlands, despite his involvement in the build-up to the game being questionable.

Senegal against the Dutch lineup

Senegal (4-3-3): Edouard Mendy, Koulibaly, Cisse, Gueye, Papy Mendy, Kouyate, Dia, Diatta, Sarr, Sabaly, Diallo.

Netherlands (3-4-1-2): Noppert, De Ligt, Van Dijk, Ake, Bergwijn, Gakpo, Berghuis, Blind, Janssen, De Jong, Dumfries.

Netherlands: “Louis van Gaal believes the Netherlands can win the World Cup because his squad has “higher average quality” than the group he guided to third place in Brazil 2014,” writes Jamie Jackson in Doha.

Senegal without Sadio: The Bayern Munich striker’s injury is a blow, but the African champions are taking a pragmatic approach to tournament football under Aliou Cissé, writes Ed Aarons.

Referees of today’s match

  • Referee: Wilton Sampaio (Brazil)

  • Assistant referees: Bruno Boschilia (Brazil) and Bruno Pires (Brazil)

  • Video assistant referee: Juan Soto (Venezuela)

Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio officiates tonight's match between Senegal and the Netherlands.
Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio officiates tonight’s match between Senegal and the Netherlands. Photo: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Early team news

As mentioned earlier, Senegal are without Sadio Mane, who could be replaced by Monaco winger Krepin Diatta. Abou Diallo, the central defender of RB Leipzig, could miss out with a knee injury.

The Netherlands are also missing a key player, with Memphis Depay out for this match at the very least with a hamstring injury. Denzel Dumfries could also miss out after injuring himself while playing for Inter last weekend, while midfielder Marten De Roon’s participation is also doubtful.

Memphis Depay (left) has been training with the Netherlands squad as he recovers from a hamstring injury but is highly unlikely to play in today's opener.
Memphis Depay (left) has been training with the Netherlands squad as he recovers from a hamstring injury but is highly unlikely to play in today’s opener. Photo: Hollandse Hoogte/REX/Shutterstock

Group A: Senegal vs Netherlands

The 40,000 capacity Al-Thumama Stadium in Qatar is the venue for today’s match between Senegal and the Netherlands. Scheduled to host eight different matches in this tournament, it played its first match thirteen months ago.

The African champions suffered a pre-tournament blow with news that their star man Sadio Mane has been ruled out for the rest of the season after picking up an injury playing for Bayern Munich that sent his international manager Aliou Cisse back to the drawing board.

The Netherlands come into this tournament having qualified as group winners under Louis van Gaal and have since won five of their six Nations League games, drawing the other. Kick-off for this exciting match pitting Africa’s best against one of Europe’s best is at 16:00 (GMT), but in the meantime stay tuned for squad news and updates.