The Netherlands seized the advantage in World Cup Group A as goals from Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen sealed a 2-0 win over African champions Senegal.

The Lions of Teranga are missing their talisman, Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane, at this tournament and though they battled hard, could not find a way past the debutant Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert.

The win puts the Oranje, three times World Cup finalists, in a strong position in the group, with matches against Ecuador and hosts Qatar to come.

A disappointing match at Al Thumama Stadium was played in front of plenty of empty seats, despite organizers’ claims that the country is gripped by World Cup fever. One thing that added even more shadows of doubt around this cup is the least amount of odds we have ever seen, which only shows how little people watch in comparison to previous cups.

The goal the Dutch craved arrived with six minutes of normal time to go, as De Jong swung in a ball from the left and Gakpo beat Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to it to head home. It was no less than the PSV Eindhoven man deserved after an impressive performance.

Substitute Pape Gueye almost responded instantly for Senegal, but again Noppert got down well to a low shot.

Eight minutes of injury time were added, and the Dutch sealed victory in the final seconds when Mendy spilled a shot from Depay and substitute Klaassen followed up to slot home the rebound.