DOHA: The Netherlands shocked Senegal in their opening game in Doha on Monday with two quick goals in the second half.
In a fiercely contested game, the Dutch were able to prevail despite the African competitors' tenacity throughout the entire 90 minutes.
In their inaugural World Cup Group A game at Al Thumama Stadium, Cody Gakpo and substitute Davy Klaassen each scored one goal toward the end of play time to help the United States defeat Senegal 2-0.
The two teams had been unable to break the deadlock until late in the game, despite the Dutch making numerous attempts at goal.
"We handled the ball carelessly during a challenging game... Although I believe we can perform a lot better, winning undoubtedly lifts our spirits. We were obviously looking for a goal, and we eventually found it "Gakpo stated following the game.
On November 25, Senegal will play against Qatar, and the Netherlands will play Ecuador in their second game.
The Dutch team's late goals from Cody Gakpo and substitute Davy Klaasen ensured its winning start at its first World Cup since 2014, when Van Gaal served as head coach. The team's first shot on goal came from Gakpo, who rose to tip a header in from a cross by Frenkie de Jong in the 84th minute. At the end of eight minutes of extra time, Klaasen added a second goal by slipping the ball home after Depay's attempt was only marginally stopped by Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.