Senegal international Sadio Mane was watching from home as Senegal conceded two late goals against the Dutch in their opening World Cup game.
It was a disappointing game for the African champions but an excellent way to start a World Cup campaign for the Dutch.
The defeat zoomed the absence of Sadio Mane into the limelight. Save his skills, his great leadership would have probably saved a point for the African champions.
Senegal held the Netherlands through to the 84th minute before they were ripped apart by Gody Gakpo’s header.
The highly rated PSV Eindhoven star tore through the loose Senegalese defence to head home a looping right-footed pass from Frenkie de Jong.
Charging forward to find an equalizer, Senegal left open their lines and conceded another goal just in the final minutes of the stoppage time with Klaassen on the score sheet.
Sarr was the choice forward replacing Mane but could not live up to expectations as Senegal rarely created a clear chance in the game.
Sadio Mane would have formed an integral aspect of the team but was ruled out due to an injury.
The former Liverpool striker picked up an injury in a Bundesliga clash against Werder Bremen. The Bavarians sailed to a big 6-1 win over Werder Bremen, but Sadio Mane was forced out of the game after 20 minutes.
Bayern Munich later confirmed in a press statement that Sadio Mane will not feature for the Bundesliga giants in their last game before the World Cup break against Schalke.
The news of Mane’s injury came as a shock to Senegalese fans and officials, as they least expected their star striker to be ruled out of the biggest stage in world football.
Meanwhile, Senegal FA was optimistic about Mane’s return from injury, despite the gloomy forecast by his club.
Sadio Mane was included in Senegal’s World Cup squad despite the injury following reports he may soon recover to feature for the team, even after missing the opening game against the Netherlands.
However, Senegal’s national team doctor later confirmed that it had been established after a scan that Sadio Mane will undergo surgery and will be ruled out of the World Cup.
Speaking after it was confirmed he will miss the tournament, Sadio Mane thanked all the best wishes following his injury. He also used the opportunity to charge the Senegal national team to “approach every game as a final” as they kicked off their campaign against the Netherlands.
“I want to use this opportunity and thank you who sent me messages of support following my injury. This Monday, our dear country will compete at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. I am sure the lions will approach every game as a final. They will fight as a team,” he said.
However, the opener did not turned out as he expected, as he was captured watching his team gave up by conceding two late goals against the Dutch.
The first match in the Group ended in a 2-0 win for Ecuador. Ecuador and Netherlands top the group, but Senegal still stands a chance with the remaining two matches in the group.
They will face hosts Qatar in the next game and needs a win to keep their qualification hopes alive.