Match report as Senegal claim first World Cup victory to leave hosts Qatar facing group-stage elimination; Qatar became first nation eliminated after Netherlands avoided defeat against Ecuador in Friday’s other Group A game
Qatar’s Ismail Mohamad reacts after his shot is saved by Senegal’s Edouard Mendy
Hosts Qatar have been eliminated just two games into the World Cup after a 3-1 defeat to Senegal at Al Thumama Stadium.
Qatar are rooted to the bottom of Group A with one game to play and became the first team to be knocked out of the competition after Netherlands avoided defeat against Ecuador later on Friday.
Boulaye Dia (41) and Famara Diedhiou (48) struck either side of half-time to put Senegal in control as they set about responding to their opening-night defeat to the Netherlands.
Mohammed Muntari pulled one back (78) with an historic first goal at a World Cup finals for Qatar, but the hosts’ unlikely comeback lasted just six minutes as Ahmadou Dieng restored Senegal’s two-goal lead (84).
Big moments in the game…
- 33 min: Qatar penalty appeals ignored after Akram Afif bundled over by Ismaila Sarr
- 40 min: Boulaye Dia rifled Senegal in front after Boualem Khoukhi’s defensive error
- 48 min: Famara Diedhiou’s stooping near-post header doubled Senegal lead
- 62 min: Almoez Ali registers Qatar’s first shot on target at World Cup but Edouard Mendy saves
- 67 min: Ismael Mohammed forces wonder save from Edouard Mendy
- 78 min: Mohammed Muntari pulled goal back with Qatar’s first-ever World Cup goal
- 84 min: Ahmadou Dieng restored Senegal’s lead
Senegal leaves hosts Qatar out of their own party
After a World Cup debut to forget against Ecuador, Qatar’s improvement against Senegal was visible, though they lacked an attacking threat in a one-sided first half.
The hosts felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Akram Afif was felled by Ismaila Sarr in the area, but the appeals were ignored by referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.
Qatar were within four minutes of reaching the interval on level terms when Senegal took the lead, Dia pounced on Boualem Khoukhi’s defensive error to rifle in the opener at the near post.
Senegal doubled their lead within three minutes of the restart when Diedhiou brilliantly glanced in from a corner to all but condemn Qatar to elimination.
But the hosts stirred superbly, registering their first two attempts on target at this World Cup as Edouard Mendy pulled off two fine saves to deny Almoez Ali and Ismail Mohamad in the space of five minutes.
The Qatari pressure eventually told 12 minutes from time when Muntari rose high and superbly headed in his nation’s maiden World Cup finals goal, but the celebrations were short-lived, with Dieng restoring Senegal’s two-goal cushion from 12 yards to leave the hosts staring at an early exit.
Sanchez: Qatar should not be branded a failure
Qatar head coach Felix Sanchez said his side should not be branded a “failure and disappointment” after they lost their second group game, a result that puts the World Cup hosts on the brink of elimination from the tournament.
“I do think we played a good game,” Sanchez reflected. “When you come here you need to know where you’re coming from. If this is a failure and disappointment, that depends on expectations.
“Our goal was to be competitive… We’ve been working for so many months to be able to give a good performance. But sometimes the match does not play out as you expect. It also depends on the opponents’ performance. We didn’t play at our top level. We were competitive but didn’t improve.”
What does the result mean?
Qatar’s second defeat at the 2022 World Cup leaves them bottom of Group A with no points and, after Netherlands and Ecuador drew 1-1, out of the competition.
In the final Group A games, Qatar face the Netherlands and Ecuador take on Senegal on Tuesday at 3pm.
Qatar making strong case for worst World Cup hosts
“Host nation Qatar have crashed out of the World Cup after slumping to another embarrassing defeat. Senegal barely got out of third gear. There were small crumbs of comfort; Qatar actually raised their game in the second half, creating a reasonable flurry of chances before scoring a well-crafted goal.
“But they become the first host nation to exit a World Cup tournament having only played two games. Head coach Felix Sanchez put Qatar’s opening-night loss down to “nerves.” There can be no excuses to mitigate the abjectness of this display.
“The Gulf state, which has come under much scrutiny and criticism off the pitch, had never qualified for a World Cup tournament before winning the right to host it 12 years ago, and their footballing inability has done nothing to divert attention away from that fact. The gulf in quality is simply too immense. They’re throwing the party but are the first to leave it.”
Qatar make history – Opta stats
- Qatar have become the first host nation to lose two matches in a single group round of an edition of the World Cup.
- Mohammed Muntari scored Qatar’s first World Cup goal in their second match and from their 12th shot.
- Qatar became only the third host nation to concede three goals in a single group stage game, after South Africa in 2010 and Russia in 2018 (both 3-0 defeats to Uruguay).
- Senegal became the first African side to beat the host nation at a World Cup; all of the previous four instances of an African side facing the hosts had seen them lose by an aggregate 12-2 score.