The FIFA World Cup is in full flow as we continue on through the opening few days of the tournament. We saw hosts Qatar lose to Ecuador in their opener on Sunday and in the other game in Group A, the Netherlands managed to see off the challenge of Senegal with a comfortable 2-0 win.
Of course, there’s more to the story than that, as we’ll detail in the following piece.
No Mane, no party
Sadio Mane being ruled out of the FWC was not only a huge blow for Senegal, but for football as a whole. We all want to see the best of the best on the world stage and without Mane, Senegal just didn’t seem to have that killer instinct or end product. If he was fit and firing, perhaps they would’ve been able to carve out more creative – or decisive – attempts on goal, as they did on occasion in the first half.
Falling off a cliff
Speaking of the first half, it was strange to see how badly the quality dropped off from the first 45 minutes to the second yesterday. Both teams were playing some nice, end to end football, with a 0-0 scoreline leaving things on a knife-edge heading into the second half. Then, both sides appeared to sit back with heavy delays in the rhythm of the play, adding up to a pretty weird encounter.
This Netherlands side obviously has talent in their ranks and nobody will begrudge them of that. At the same time, it’s not exactly the most potent of attacking forces they’ve ever possessed – even if they did ultimately win 2-0. They have what it takes to make some waves in the knockouts and this is the toughest test in their group, but we do think they’ll need to up their game in the days ahead.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!