The Netherlands open their mouths against a Senegal without Mané

The ‘Oranje’ puts their streak at stake with Van Gaal on their return to a World Cup


The selections of Senegal and the Netherlands meet this Monday (5:00 p.m.) in the match that closes the first day of Group A, after Ecuador’s victory over Qatar on Sunday (0-2), the moment of truth for an ‘Oranje ‘ with desire and some ‘Los Leones de la Teranga’ without its great star Sadio Mané.

The Al Thumama Stadium will be the scene of a match that until a few days ago looked even. The last-minute loss of the Bayern Munich striker undoubtedly reduces the options of a Senegal that will have a very difficult time scoring against the Dutch team, wanting to redeem past mistakes in Qatar.

The ‘Oranje’ returns to the world showcase after failing to qualify for Russia 2018, with the danger of stage fright in a young team that starts as ‘covered’ to win the title. The inexperience of their squad seems to be offset by the great individual talent that a large part of the team treasures.

Thus, the coach Lousi Van Gaal has a solid backbone on the pitch supported by one of the best defenders in Europe such as Virgil van Dijk. Frenkie de Jong trusts to be the beacon of orange hopes, while Memphis Depay will not jump into the first eleven in Qatar for now.

An undefeated team since the elimination in the last Eurocup against the Czech Republic, also rediscovered in its game since Van Gaal began his third spell on the bench. Opposite, Senegal faces its third World Cup adventure with the endorsement of being the African Cup champion but with the significant loss of its star.

The absence of the second classified in the recent Ballon d’Or, due to an injury he suffered 13 days after his debut, forces his team to roar more than ever. Ecuador’s victory confirms that the tricolor team aspires to the round of 16 at least as second in the group, with which the African team will jump onto the field knowing that their possible rival for the pass is escaping.

The coach Aliou Cissé will have to find solutions to recover his goalscoring effectiveness, so he clings to his great offensive asset, the Salernitana striker Boulaye Dia. Players like Edouard Mendy, Chelsea goalkeeper; Kalidou Koulibaly, defender also for the Londoners; or Tottenham midfielder Pape Matar Sarr will try to end the favoritism of the Netherlands.

Assuming the loss of Mané goes through remembering that they arrive in Qatar at the best moment in their history. After losing in the first round in Russia, only because of two yellow cards, Senegal does not give up the dream of being back at the crossroads looking at the team that reached the quarterfinals 20 years ago with Cissé as captain.



SENEGAL: E. Mendy; F. Mendy, Koulibaly, Diallo, Ballo Toure; N. Mendy, Gueye, Ciss; Diatta, Dia, I. Sarr.

PAÍSES BAJOS: Pasveer; Timber, Van Dijk, Ake; Dumfries, De Jong, Berghuis, Blind; Gakpo; Bergwijn, Janssen.

–REFEREE: Wilton Sampaio (BRA).

–STADIUM: Al Thumama.

–TIME: 17.00.