The Netherlands and Senegal booked their places in the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup football tournament after registering victories in their final Group A league matches here on Tuesday. Netherlands beat hosts Qatar 2-0 while Senegal beat Ecuador 2-1. Qatar has become the first host country in the history of World Cup football to lose all three of its group stage matches. The Netherlands topped the group with seven points with two wins and a draw, while Senegal scored six points from two wins and finished second. Ecuador needed a draw in this match but due to the defeat, they were eliminated from the tournament with four points.
The Netherlands scored one goal each in both halves against Qatar. Cody Gakpo gave them the lead in the 26th minute while Frankie de Jong scored the team’s second goal in the 49th minute. On the other hand, Ismalia Saar converted the penalty in the 44th minute for Senegal. Kalibu Coulibaly scored the second goal for him in the 69th minute. Moises Cacido scored the lone goal for Ecuador in the 67th minute. In the second round, the Netherlands will play the second-placed team from Group B, while Senegal will play the winner of Group B. In the match played at Al Khor, Qatar initially tied the Netherlands but Cody Gakpo again gave his team an early lead like in the previous two matches. He became only the fourth player for the Netherlands to score in three consecutive World Cup matches. Before him Johan Nieskens (1974), Dennis Bergkamp (1994) and Wesley Sneijder (2010) did this feat. Davy Klaasen made the move and passed the ball to Gakpo, who made no mistake in firing it home.
With this goal, Gacpo became the second player after Italy’s Alessandro Altobelli (1986) to score his team’s first goal in all three group stage matches. The Netherlands dominated the first half and made some good moves. Qatar also challenged on a couple of occasions but at no time were they in any position to score. The Netherlands increased their lead to 2–0 soon after the start of the second half. From his side, this goal was scored by De Jong on the rebound. Depay’s shot from Klaasen’s cross was blocked by Qatar goalkeeper Barsham but the ball went to de Jong. There was no player in front of him then and he scored easily. In El Rayon, Senegal dominated Ecuador from the start.
He created a few good chances, although his first breakthrough came towards the end of the first half. Shortly before the end of the first half, Piero Hincapie brought Saar down inside the box and the referee had no hesitation in awarding Senegal a penalty. Saar easily converted the penalty to put his side ahead 1-0. Senegal deserved to take the lead as they made it clear from the outset that they wanted to score.
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Idrissa Gueye and Liman Ndia both had chances to score but their shots went wide. Cacido had equalized for Ecuador in the 67th minute from a corner kick, but his joy was short-lived as Kalibou Koulibaly put Senegal back in the lead two minutes later. After this, Ecuador made tireless efforts to score, but Senegal put all their strength to save the goal, in which it was also successful.