De Jong revives the icy Netherlands

The Netherlands leave the staff cold at their premiere in Qatar. Passive and insipid football against the vertiginous Senegal, more lucid and less rigid in the duel of group A. Without Mané the Africans lack almost everything. Even so, the African champion compromised the Dutch, who breathed when Frenkie de Jong saw Dakpo’s advance and gave him a delicious pass. Victory without emotions, finished off later with another goal from Klaassen, for the old Holland.

Senegal without the footballer Build hospitals and don’t drive Ferraris (Sadio Mané) and the Netherlands, formerly called the Netherlands, with the irritable Louis van Gaal on the bench, meet in a singular duel. The best team in Africa and the eternal contender to win a World Cup. Apparently a powerful coming-out between the vibrant color of the Senegalese and the never-awarded opulence of the tulips.

The meeting dawns in parity. Nobody imposes their style in a stadium that is supposed to have real fans, thousands of orange and yellow shirts in the stands. Holada aims for a low, dense and rather slow game, possession and chewed play. Senegal wants something else: zumba and speed, fast transitions, physical football in the rebound dispute.

In the Netherlands his defense stands out, with Van Dijk in command of the operation. The Liverpool center-back exhibits musculature, position and criteria. Also Frenkie de Jong, who lets their hair down to build slaloms, distribute to the left and right and put another march to their team, so fast.

The Netherlands, a team that always had a pedigree in attack (Cruyff, Resenbrink, Van Basten, Van Nistelroy, Bergkamp, ​​Kluivert), is now a wasteland for that sector. Two forwards without flying, Janssen and Berwijn, show the shortcomings of the Ajax school that produced so much quality in the past.

Senegal is an enthusiastic group, one of those who dazzle the fans and provoke general sympathy. A selection to which anyone can wish the best. Their football is dynamic and direct, in the antipodes of guardiolismo, people who seek the career or victory in the duel and who have midfield by obligation.

There are shared occasions, especially for the Netherlands. Many arrivals to the area that lack vision of the game first and then placement for the shot. De Jong, who misses a very clear chance due to excessive cuts, grows with the passing of the minutes and his team notices it. Senegal threatens in strategy, set pieces and counterattacks. Cisse does not arrive, Diatta shoots high, Sarr hits it with too much effect.

The party falls hopelessly in the second act. Between the incessant turnovers, the stoppages in the game, the injuries and the carousel of inaccuracies from the Netherlands, the match collapses.

The Netherlands trusts its luck to corner kicks and the like, actions in which Van Dijk’s wingspan always prevails. Precision passers are missing from his team, people with the technique to put it where he wants. Van Dijk catches a couple of head butts on the fly, but doesn’t hit the target.

The game languishes between fatigue and insubstantial changes (Memphis). Sparkless government in the Netherlands hasn’t hurt Senegal, who finds a way to lash out (Dia, Gueye) and compromise goalkeeper Noppert.

With the match downhill, there is still time for quality to impose its law. Frenkie de Jong, the best player in the game, watches the arrival of Gakpo, his surprise irruption through the center, and puts a sweet, deep ball, just to comb it. Gakpo does it before Mendy’s late departure. And in extra time Klaassen to win the World Cup premiere.


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