Match-winner Gakpo says Netherlands can 'do better' after scrappy Senegal win
Cody Gakpo says the Netherlands "can do much better" after his late goal helped them to a 2-0 win against Senegal in their World Cup opener.
It marks a winning return to the World Cup for Louis van Gaal's side, who missed out on the last tournament in Russia.
But despite a victorious start in Group A, Gakpo feels there is room for improvement after an otherwise scrappy performance.
"We weren't careful enough with the ball," he told broadcaster NOS. "I think we can do much better. We were good in our possession. We have to analyse this properly and take the good points to the next game.
On his goal though – a rare headed finish – Gakpo was more effusive, adding: "This gives you a good feeling. We were really looking for it as a team, so it's great that it still works!"
98:17 - Davy Klaassen's goal after 98:17 is the second latest World Cup goal on record (since 1966) excluding extra time, after Mehdi Taremi's goal earlier today (102:30). Climax. pic.twitter.com/VkzgzaNupr— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) November 21, 2022
With a dearth of clear-cut chances throughout, it was a relatively painless debut performance for Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert between the posts.
The shot stopper was happy to get his first game under his belt, and believed the Oranje showed their mettle in taking victory despite a rough all-around game.
"It is special to make my debut," Noppert said. "You dream of this. I never thought it was possible. As a little boy, this is a dream – you don't assume it [will happen].
"Our game as a team was not good, but then it is great if you can still find a way to win. We want to go very far and become world champions. Otherwise, we shouldn't come."