Written By Jacobs Dunga
From Senegal’s victory to Ecuador’s valuable draw against the Netherlands to England’s unconvincing outing against the United States.
Reigning African champions, Senegal secured the continent’s first three points at the ongoing World Cup by brushing aside hosts Qatar by three goals to one.
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The African side had narrowly lost their opening game to the Netherlands but made sure they secured the much needed points going into their last group game against Ecuador.
Goals from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Bamba Dieng were enough for the Aliou Cisse led side to emerge victorious against Felix Sanchez’ side.
In the other group game, Ecuador continued their impressive run with a well deserved 1-1 draw against Louis Van Gaal’s Oranje side with Enner Valencia getting the all important equalizer.
Cody Gakpo had given Netherlands and early lead but the Ecuadorian team despite the early setback kept fighting and showed relentless effort to come back into the game.
Estupinan thought he had levelled for Ecuador in the fourth minute of first half added time only for VAR to rule otherwise.
It was however not long before Enner Valencia drew Ecuador level with just four minutes of the restart played.
Both teams are now joint top of their group with four points apiece and the same number of goals scored and conceded.
England were held to a goalless draw by the United States in a game that was largely dominated by the Americans.
Gareth Southgate’s men barely threatened all game as both sides settled for a point apiece.
The Three Lions sit top of the group with four points while the United States have two points from as many games and needing a win against Iran to qualify.
Qatar with their loss to Senegal became the host nation with the worst start in the history of the World Cup after losing both of their games.
They also joined South Africa as the only host nations to have been eliminated in the first round.
Senegal by virtue of their 3-1 win over Qatar recorded their first victory with more than a goal margin in the World Cup.
The Netherlands’ two shots attempted against Ecuador is the least by any European nation in any game of the group stages in World Cup history.
Cody Gakpo joins Memphis Depay (2014) as the Dutch players to score in their first two appearances in the World Cup.
Ecuador have now kept a clean sheet in each of their last seven matches in all competitions but saw that come to an end against the Netherlands.
Enner Valencia became the fourth player after Paolo Rossi, Eusebio and Oleg Salenko to score six consecutive goals for their country in the World Cup.
Jurrien Timber has joined Patrick Kluivert as the only Dutch players to have appeared in two different major international tournaments before their 22nd birthday.
England are now the nation with the most goalless draws in the history of the World Cup with twelve to their name.
This was the United States’ first clean sheet in the World Cup since beating England in 1950.
England are now winless in three games against the United States in the World Cup with only Brazil being the side they’ve faced more (4) without winning.
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