Home » Manchester United transfer targets combine to secure win vs Senegal in Qatar

Manchester United transfer targets combine to secure win vs Senegal in Qatar

by Kuda Jinya

Frenkie de Jong and Cody Gakpo combined, sparing Louis Van Gaal a few blushes against Senegal. The Netherlands seemed unlikely to score for most of the game. In the end, Oranje came away 2-0 winners in the Group A World Cup Opener.

The game’s heroes were Gakpo and substitute Davy Klassen, both exploiting some questionable goalkeeping by Édouard Mendy.

A betting man would have fancied the Dutch team sure winners, especially in the absence of superstar Sadio Mané. However, after an end-to-end blistering start, both teams settled into an evenly-matched first half.

A chance gone begging

De Jong had the best opportunity of the first 45 minutes to give the Oranje the lead. Netherlands broke on the counter with Steven Bergwijn feeding a perfectly weighted ball to the 25-year-old midfield maestro.

De Jong found himself in acres of space, but after evading one defender and getting the keeper to stumble backward, the defence recovered and swiftly dealt with the threat.

The Dutch playmaker took one touch too many where a toe poke might have sufficed to get his name on the scoresheet.

Oranje leave it late

The second half began much like the first half ended – evenly contested. Dutch keeper Andries Noppert had more to do between the sticks than his Senegalese counterpart.

That was until midfielder De Jong played a beautiful ball into the box from the left.

Intelligent movement by Gakpo allowed him to slip through the defence, beat Mendy to the cross, and meet the ball with a well-placed header.

The goal gave Netherlands the lead against the run of play.

Moments later, Mendy again faltered, spilling ex-Manchester United winger Memphis Depay‘s shot. The ball fell kindly for Davy Klassen, who fired home to put the game beyond Senegal in stoppage time.

Interest renewed

While a move never materialised, Frenkie de Jong was Manchester United’s primary target in the last transfer window. Despite expressing his desire to stay in Barcelona, his performances in Qatar could fuel more vigorous efforts to secure his signature.

The Red Devils have also shown interest in Cody Gakpo, who is open to joining Europe’s biggest teams.

Despite a tame start to the tournament, each player has given Erik ten Hag reasons to keep watch over the next few games.

Van Gaal’s side will hope to put in a more dominant performance in the games ahead. Netherlands plays Ecuador on November 25 and Qatar on November 29.

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