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Van Gaal hails ‘efficient’ Netherlands win against Senegal

Van Gaal hails 'efficient' Netherlands win against Senegal

Doha, Nov 22 (SocialNews.XYZ) Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal admitted he was not entirely satisfied after his team produced a late burst to beat Senegal 2-0 in their FIFA World Cup Group A match on Monday.

The Netherlands dominated for long stages of the first half but lacked a cutting edge in the final third at the Thumama Stadium. Senegal had several clear scoring chances in the second half before Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen struck in the last 15 minutes for the Dutch.


"It was an efficient victory," Van Gaal told a post-match press conference. "We played the first half with poor decision-making when carrying the ball. But we still created five chances. In the second half the match was more balanced ... (but) I was quite calm because I always had the feeling we would score."

Van Gaal, who replaced Frank de Boer as Netherlands manager in June 2021, said his players benefitted from superior fitness, reports Xinhua.

"I would agree that it was an efficient victory but I thought we were fitter," the 71-year-old said. "The Senegalese spent a lot of time lying on the ground which is why we had to play for an extra eight minutes [of stoppage time]. I will agree we were too shoddy in possession and it wasn't a good game from us in that respect but it was a good defensive performance."

He added: "It was a very tough match for us. We made some changes (in the second half) and put some players in different positions. A 2-0 victory against the champions of the Africa Cup means I can be very pleased."


Senegal manager Aliou Cisse said he accepted the blame after the Netherlands scored two late goals to defeat his team.

Cody Gakpo broke the deadlock with an 84th-minute header and substitute Davy Klaassen doubled the lead by firing home a first-time effort in the last minute of stoppage time.

"The coach is responsible for any defeat so perhaps I'm the one to blame," Cisse told a post-match news conference at the Al Thumama Stadium.

"We're disappointed at not having scored. We had three or four chances but you've got to be effective. We did create chances. We'll take heart from that and we'll try to improve in that respect."

After a lacklustre first half, Senegal had four clear chances in the second. Boulaye Dia and Idrissa Gueye forced smart saves from Andries Noppert before Bamba Dieng and Pape Gueye thumped shots over the crossbar.

"I'm happy with my players and proud of the way we performed," Cisse said. "Now we just have to get ready of the next match which will be vital if we are to continue in the competition."

Senegal, already depleted by a leg injury to striker Sadio Mane that has ruled him out of the tournament, suffered a double blow when Abdou Diallo and Cheikhou Kouyate were forced off in the second half.

Cisse confirmed that Diallo has a muscle problem while Kouyate suffered a rolled ankle.

"They are important players for us and we have to try to get them right for the next two matches," he added.

Source: IANS

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Van Gaal hails 'efficient' Netherlands win against Senegal

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