Men's Team

Ake helps Netherlands kick off World Cup with victory

City's Nathan Ake made his World Cup debut as the Netherlands began their Qatar 2022 campaign with a 2-0 victory over Senegal.

The defender played a full 90 minutes as the Dutch kept a clean sheet in a hard-fought win at the Al Thumama Stadium.

In a tentative first half, Senegal offered a threat on the break but Ake and central defensive partner Virgil van Dijk helped restrict their opponents mostly to long-range shots.

But the Netherlands were just as wasteful in front of goal with Cody Gakpo and Frenkie De Jong squandering good opportunities.

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However, the Oranje finally found a goal in the 84th minute when Gakpo rose above Edouard Mendy to head home Frenkie De Jong’s whipped cross.

And Davy Klaassen finally secured the win with a second goal deep into injury time.

Ake will be back in action on Friday when the Netherlands face Ecuador who also won their opening game of the tournament, 2-0 against Qatar, before they face the hosts in their final group game on Tuesday.

England are among the potential opponents for the Dutch should they both reach the last-16 after Gareth Southgate’s side kicked off the tournament with a 6-2 win over Iran with Jack Grealish among the goalscorers.

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