Cody Gakpo (L) is congratulated by Virgil van Dijk after putting the Netherlands ahead away in Poland


  • The Netherlands easily dispatched host country Qatar, 2-0
  • Senegal had to put in full effort in order to finally put away Ecuador late in their match
  • Senegal will face England, while the Netherlands versus the USA will headline the first batch of Round of 16 matches

The 2022 World Cup is set to enter the Round of 16 portion of the tournament, and the winners of Groups A and B have finally been decided.

Bannered by their big three of Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie De Jong and Memphis Depay, the Netherlands were the first to book their spot after taking down host nation Qatar 2-0 in stellar fashion.

Rising star Cody Gakpo once again led the FIFA-ranked No. 8 in the world side to the win after he logged the first score of the game in the 26th minute as Davy Klaassen gave him an assisted run just inside the box for the easy strike.

Gakpo's score in this match allowed him to score his third goal in as many matches in the competition and is proving to be one of the biggest names set to garner interest in the transfer market in the January window.

"Oranje" then found the game-sealing goal care of De Jong in the 49th minute with a tap-in goal as Depay's attempt was saved by the keeper, which gave the FC Barcelona midfielder his first goal of the 2022 World Cup.

Joining them in the Round of 16 is Senegal–ranked 18th in the world by FIFA as of October 6.

"The Lions of Teranga" had their work cut out for them as Ecuador was unwilling to give any quarter to the African nation.

Senegal's Ismaila Sarr, the winger for Watford in the English Football League Championship (EFL), gave their side the lead in the 44th minute after being brought down inside the box and was awarded a penalty that he tucked home with ease in the bottom right corner.

Ecuador would later draw level thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo tapping in a beautiful header in the 67th minute from a corner attempt.

Sensing their team needed his full efforts to book their spot in the next round, Kalidou Koulibaly was in the right place at the right time for a strike right in front of the keeper three minutes after Caicedo's score.

With the Netherlands and Senegal garnering seven and six points each at the conclusion of the group stages, the former will now face the United States while the latter takes on England to advance to the quarterfinals and be one step closer to winning the prestigious title.

Both matchups are equally cannot-miss ones for soccer fans as the wealth of talent on display among the four teams is more than enough to generate genuine interest in who goes through.

Ismaila Sarr of Watford FC
Ismaila Sarr of Watford FC Getty Images | Ross Kinnaird