It didn’t come easy, but the Netherlands left Al Thumama Stadium with all three points thanks to a pair of goals in the final 20 minutes, including one in stoppage time.
Here are three takeaways from the match courtesy of “World Cup Now” analysts Jimmy Conrad, Sacha Kljestan and Warren Barton.
1. Barton: The Netherlands has come a long way
Maybe 2-0 flatters the Dutch a little bit, but I’m really pleased with the way that they kept their discipline. I thought they looked solid at the back — Virgil Van Dijk is obviously a rock, and he’s the one that sets the tone — and I think it gives them a really great platform to go forward.
2. Conrad: The Netherlands played too safe
I thought the first 45 minutes, first half, was a little uneventful, and then it started to pick up a little bit when the subs came on. But maybe that was the plan along from Louis Van Gaal. He’s obviously a tremendous manager and he’s got some players that know what they’re doing out there. But I don’t know if they can play safe against Ecuador in the next matchday, especially since they’re both at the top of the table. I really do believe Ecuador are going to pose a much bigger challenge than Senegal and challenge them in different ways.
3. Kljestan: Difference-makers made the, well, difference
Senegal, they lacked a difference-maker. The Netherlands have Memphis Depay, Frenkie de Jong, Cody Gakpo — difference-makers tonight. It was a pretty close game between both teams. I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom for Senegal. I think they still have a very good chance of getting out of this group. They just need to regroup and get ready for the next one.
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