The Dutch managed to emerge victorious in a tightly contested match as their African counterparts showed resilience through 90 minutes.
Cody Gakpo scored towards the end of play time while substitute Davy Klaassen netted home the second one in injury time to beat Senegal 2-0 in their World Cup Group A opening match at Al Thumama Stadium.
The two sides had struggled to break the impasse until late in the match with the Dutch failing to score with several attempts at the goal.
"It was a difficult game and we were not careful with the ball… I think we can do a lot better but the victory obviously gives us a good feeling. We were clearly in search of a goal and eventually we got it," said Gakpo after the match.
The Netherlands will meet Ecuador in their second match on November 25, while Senegal will play against Qatar on the same day.