Host country Qatar became the first team to be knocked out of the 2022 World Cup, following their 3-1 loss to Senegal in Group A and the 1-1 draw between the Netherlands and Portugal. Ecuador.
Their premature exit also sees them set the unwanted record of becoming the first host country to emerge from the tournament after just two group matches. Only one other host had ever been knocked out in the first round, regardless of format: South Africa in 2010.
Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Ahmadou Bamba Dieng were on the scoresheet for Senegal, who picked up their first points after a 2-0 group opener loss to the Netherlands.
However, no one who watched Qatar in those finals will have been remotely surprised: the reigning Asian champions may be, but Felix Sanchez’s side looked overwhelmed in their maiden World Cup.
Qatar lost their opener 2-0 to Ecuador without registering a shot on target – something they only managed after the hour mark against Senegal, 165 minutes (there was LOTS of downtime so far) in their tournament. It took them a similar amount of time to reach double the touches in the opposing box.
The Maroons’ first test on an opposing goalkeeper seemed to wake them up, and they quickly forced Edouard Mendy into a much tougher save – thanks to Ismael Mohammad’s close-range effort.
Substitute Mohammed Muntari’s imposing 79th-minute header (from a delicious Mohammad cross) gave Qatar hope, but it proved too little too late as Senegal restored their two-goal lead and comfortably held on for the win.
For Qatar, their hopes of securing even a point from their home World Cup realistically rests with the Dutch making the change for Tuesday’s final group clash.