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Senegal vs Netherlands: The Oranje kick off 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign against AFCON champions on November 21, 2022

November 20, 2022 By Ali M.
A Sadio Mane-less Lions of Teranga lock horns with Van Gaal's high-flying side in what should be an interesting Group A showdown.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup has finally gotten underway. Qatar and Ecuador kicked off the tournament with their clash on Sunday, with the South Americans beating the hosts 2-0 in the opening fixture. However, the focus quickly shifts elsewhere as the two other teams in Group A prepare to do battle: the Netherlands and Senegal.

This will be both an exciting and worrisome match for the African giants. First of all, the AFCON champions will step onto the pitch in football's most prestigious tournament for only the third time in their history, having qualified for 2002 and 2018. 

However, the Lions of Teranga will be without their star man Sadio Mane. The Bayern Munich ace picked up an unfortunate injury during the final round of Bundesliga matches just before the Qatar 2022 break and while the former Liverpool attacker was initially included in Aliou Cissé's FIFA World Cup squad, the 30-year-old was eventually ruled out from the tournament altogether in order to undergo surgery.

Nonetheless, Senegal should still give the Netherlands an interesting test. Koulibaly and Co. beat Egypt to get here, overcoming the Pharaohs on penalties in the decisive FIFA World Cup qualifier a month after beating the North Africans in a similar fashion in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final.

Against the Oranje, the plan will likely be to keep things tight at the back. Cissé's side are defensively astute and with Senegal set to face Qatar and Ecuador in the two games after that, the champions of Africa might hold off on the expansive football until those fixtures.

However, the Netherlands will be no easy hill to overcome. Despite most of the focus being on Brazil, Argentina, England, and France, Louis van Gaal's side enter the tournament as ones to keep an eye on.

Their failure to qualify for Russia 2018 has not been forgotten, but given that Van Gaal was the man to lead the Oranje all the way to the semifinals in 2014, fans are hopeful of something similar. Additionally, Van Dijk and Co. enter this competition in tremendous form.

The Netherlands recently qualified for the UEFA Nations League final, beating competition from Wales, Poland, and Belgium to make it out of Group 4 of League A. Not only did the Dutch top their group, but they also went unbeaten, drawing with Poland on one occasion while winning every other match.

Similarly, the 2010 FIFA World Cup runners-up enjoyed a lovely qualifying campaign for Qatar 2022, losing once while winning seven out of their 10 matches (D2). The Netherlands are known by many as the greatest nation to have never lifted this prestigious trophy and while only a handful bet on them triumphing, Van Gaal's men should boast confidence. 

Wijnaldum is sadly unavailable but in Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo, the Dutch have two brilliant attackers that can both create for others and score. Koulibaly and Co. will be in for a rough 90 minutes of football on Monday.

Team news

Senegal: Sadio Mane will play no part in this tournament, meaning one of Nicolas Jackson, Iliman Ndiaye, Krepin Diatta, and Bamba Dieng should deputize for the injured Bayern Munich ace. Abdou Diallo is recovering from a knee injury and might not feature in this tie. On the other hand, Chelsea duo Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly should lead the champions of Africa onto the pitch.

Netherlands: As mentioned earlier, Wijnaldum is unavailable after suffering a horrible leg break earlier this season. Dumfries, meanwhile, is a doubt while uncertainties exist over Marten de Roon's availability. Meanwhile, Memphis Depay is injured for the first game, meaning Van Gaal could opt for a Gakpo-Bergwijn attacking duo. 

Key stats

  • This will be the first encounter between these two nations.

  • The Netherlands are undefeated against African opposition in the FIFA World Cup, winning three and drawing one of their four encounters. 

  • Likewise, Senegal have never lost to a European side in the group stage of this competition, drawing once and winning twice.

  • The Lions of Teranga have only managed to keep one clean sheet in the FIFA World Cup and that came back in 2002 during their debut vs. France, which they won.

  • The Oranje have not lost a FIFA World Cup group stage game since going down 1-0 to Belgium back in 1994.

Broadcast listings


Match details, result and original broadcast info

Senegal 0 - 2 Netherlands

November 21, 2022 11:00amAl Thumama Stadium (ad-Dōha (Doha))

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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