Van Gaal - Netherlands have put a 'full stop' to non-playing matters in Qatar
A place in the last 16 is on offer for the winning team when Ecuador and the Netherlands meet in Group A this afternoon. The South American side impressively defeated Qatar 2-0 in the opening match of World Cup 2022 and know that a second victory today would see them safely into the knockout rounds. The same can be said of the Netherlands who left it late in their opener against Senegal before eventually collecting all three points.
Enner Valencia was the man of the moment for Ecuador, scoring both goals in Al Khor, and delivering a commanding centre forward performance. He’s also the captain of the side and will need to match his previous display should his team have hopes of defeating the Dutch this afternoon.
Louis van Gaal’s side shared their goals with lauded attacker Cody Gakpo and midfielder Davy Klaassen late goalscorers against Senegal on Monday. The European team are favoured to progress quite far at this tournament after missing the 2018 edition and securing knockout football with a game to go will see them live up to their pre-tournament hype.
Both sides will have a good view of how Group A is shaping up as this match takes place following Qatar and Senegal’s must-win clash.
Follow all the action with our live blog below, after the conclusion of Qatar vs Senegal:
Boulaye Dia sent Senegal ahead after a poor attempted clearance from Boualem Khouki.
25 November 2022 13:561669384422
45+7 mins: There’s the whistle for half-time. Senegal have done just enough to get themselves in front and Qatar have offered little in response.
They probably should have had a penalty though after Ismaila Sarr’s clumsy challenge on Akram Afif. As it stands though Qatar are on the way out of the World Cup.
25 November 2022 13:531669384084
45+3 mins: Homam Ahmed lunges into a tackle on Youssef Sabaly and arrives late, scraping his studs down the shin of the Senegalese defender.
He goes in the book for the tackle and Senegal pump the ball up the pitch.
25 November 2022 13:481669383996
45 mins: Seven minutes of stoppage time to play before the end of the first half. Qatar need to come up with a new plan, they’ve only created one of two chances and both have come from breakaways.
Now that they’re behind they can’t rely on counter-attacks.
25 November 2022 13:461669383906
43 mins: Hopefully that goal feeds some confidence into Senegal. They’ve got themselves in front and will want a second to take a firm grip on the game.
Qatari teammates Pedro Miguel and Ismail Mohamad clatter into each other as they both attempt to reach an aerial ball with Miguel coming away worse.
25 November 2022 13:451669383670
41 mins: Mistake from Qatar and Senegal lead!
Krepin Diatta curls a pass into the penalty area from the left wing and hits the ball straight to Boualem Khouki. He tries to clear it with his first touch and stumbles, knocking the ball loose.
Boulaye Dia is on hand to get to the ball and he rattles it into the back of the net. That’s the bit of luck Senegal needed in this game.
25 November 2022 13:411669383528
36 mins: It’s been a scratchy and lackadaisical performance from Senegal so far. They’re not playing with pace and seem to have an issue communicating between themselves especially in the final third.
25 November 2022 13:381669383378
33 mins: Penalty shout! This is a close one.
Out of nowhere Qatar cut through Senegal with two simple passes. The first comes to Almoez Ali who turns the ball around the corner for Akram Afif. He drives into the box, then steps ahead of Ismaila Sarr who is desperately trying to get back to defend.
Afif goes down after the collision but the referee waves his appeal away. Bizarrely VAR doesn’t seem to take a look at the incident either.
That seemed like a decent shout from the hosts.
25 November 2022 13:361669383144
30 mins: Barsham comes flying off his line as Sarr is played into the box by a long ball. The goalkeeper seemingly mistimes the challenge but deflects the ball into the legs of Sarr making him miscontrol it.
Homam Ahmed then takes a knock and needs a bit of treatment.
25 November 2022 13:321669382957
27 mins: Senegal have had five attempts already with only one shot on target. The cross comes in from the right and Meshaal Barsham punches it out of the area.
Youssouf Sabaly is waiting on the edge of the box though and he fizzes a first time effort just wide of the near post.
25 November 2022 13:29