The Netherlands set up a potential Group A decider against Ecuador on Friday, November 25, by opening their World Cup campaign with a 2-0 win against Senegal at Al Thumama stadium. PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen in the final five minutes ensured a comfortable winning margin against the African champions, who must now beat host nation Qatar in their next game to maintain hopes of quaking for the second round. Gakpo lived up to his billing as one of the sought-after young forwards in Europe by teeing up a 2-0 win for the Netherlands in their Group A opener against Senegal. And in his first game on the World Cup stage, the 23-year-old ensured that Louis van Gaal's team made a winning start and gave themselves the edge in the race to qualify for the second round as group winners With the game seemingly drifting towards a 0-0 draw, Gakpo arrived late in the Senegal penalty area to head Frenkie de Jong's cross past a hesitant Edouard Mendy in the African champions' goal. Gakpo had been quiet during the game having been deployed in a deeper role by Van Gaal and the Dutch struggled to make an impact against a Senegal team without their injured talisman Sadio Mane. PSV fans have become accustomed to seeing Gakpo’s sight in front of goal, but it doesn't make it any less impressive when you watch him in full flight. His bestselling point is his ability to create chances in set pieces and open play. His passing touch is very impressive and makes him a constant threat to play teammates in. For Twan Scheepers, who coached Gakpo back in his early days at the PSV Eindhoven academy, he has seen that type of goal countless times from Gakpo. Now as the assistant coach of Eredivisie side Utrecht, he viewed Gakpo's incredible season with a mixture of pride, enjoyment and, also, a dab of daunting horror as twice a year he must formulate a plan to stop him. Scheepers worked at PSV's academy from 2006, and came across Gakpo in 2007 at the under-11s. He came along very well, and first time we met, all of the coaches at PSV had a good feeling about Cody, Scheepers said. He loves football...it's in his heart, he's a natural, a lot of skills, a lot of speed. Cody was determined to get better every day, because he loves the game ... that's one of the best things that he has, also his skills of course. But that love for the game, wanting to train and play every day to get better...that in a nutshell is Cody Gakpo, who is a great personality and becoming a great player. Scheepers highlights the importance of Gakpo's family in his development. His father, Johnny, is from Togo; his mother, Ank, played rugby for Netherlands; and he has two brothers. His parents are very solid, don't do stupid things -- the parents, family, friends and Cody and his brothers, they did a great job in not pushing him too much, Scheepers says. They wanted to show that life is good. They are a religious family. I think that's important and a big thing in the world, he's quite relaxed. The only thing that matters to him is playing the game, and nothing bothers him around it. The PSV crowd love him, not only because of his match-changing ability, but also because he's one of their own. The walls of the PSV museum in the depths of the Philips Stadium are covered with photos and shirts of the club's legends featuring stars like Romario, Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam, Phillip Cocu, Mark van Bommel. There are the 24 Eredivisie shields the club have won, sitting alongside their Champions League title from 1988, and UEFA Cup from 1978. But sitting pride of place is the wall talking about the club's academy and their homegrown players. Memphis Depay and Ibrahim Afellay feature prominently here, but so does Gakpo, the man who was raised in the district Stratum and learned his craft in the red and white of the Boeren. The summer was an uncertain time for Gakpo. Manchester United were linked with him for much of the transfer window, and he revealed he had held talks with Erik ten Hag about a potential move. Leeds United and Southampton were also chasing him, with both making late approaches for the forward. At the time he tried to park any thoughts of a move, but later admitted to ESPN it probably played a role in distracting him at a subconscious level. In the end, that match against Volendam proved to be yet another line written in his PSV story, rather than the finishing point, as he opted to stay at his boyhood club. Gakpo wanted first-team football, and to play in Europe. With the window shut, he spoke to PSV’s in-house TV channel in early September and said he was glad the window was over. It was also a bit last-minute, Gakpo said. Last week I thought I would go to Manchester and then you may have to choose another club in a week. That's not nice for me and PSV, it feels a bit rushed. Ultimately, the choice fell on PSV. While PSV felt the pressure to let Gakpo leave to bolster their own accounts, the player himself turned to Netherlands boss Van Gaal for advice. He thought I should follow my gut feeling, but also said that a transfer in a World Cup year would not really be ideal, also because of adjustment, Gakpo said. I agreed with him. The decision to stay meant Gakpo has been pivotal in PSV's Europa League campaign. Scheepers is not worried about where Gakpo ends up next.