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Senegal cruise to victory as Qatar crash out

Senegal vs Qatar

World Cup hosts Qatar suffered an early exit from the tournament after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Senegal –  the earliest exit by a host nation in the tournament’s 92-year history.

Beaten 2-0 by Ecuador in their opening Group A match, a late push on Friday at Al Thumama Stadium was not enough for Qatar to claim a much-needed result.

With Boulaye Dia and Famara Diedhiou having put Senegal in control, Qatar had hope when Mohammed Muntari scored their first World Cup goal.

However, it was too little too late for the hosts, with substitute Bamba Dieng rounding off Senegal’s victory six minutes from time.

Their hopes of advancing to the knockout stages were ended on later on Friday when Netherlands draw 1-1 to Ecuador.

After a bright start from Senegal, the lively Qatar fans gathered behind Edouard Mendy’s goal were furious in the 34th minute, when Akram Afif was bundled over by Ismaila Sarr, but referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz waved away the seemingly valid penalty appeals.

Yet just as they had grown into the game, Qatar were made to pay for Boualem Khoukhi’s calamitous error, with his failed clearance falling to Dia, who made no mistake with a composed finish.

Qatar’s hopes were dealt a further blow three minutes into the second half – Diedhiou turning in Ismail Jakobs’ inswinging corner.

Senegal had Mendy to thank for two excellent stops as Qatar searched for a goal back, the Chelsea goalkeeper brilliantly denying Almoez Ali and Ismaeel Mohammad.

Muntari’s superb header four minutes after coming on set up a grandstand finish, yet Dieng swept home to strike the decisive blow.

Qatar face an uphill task of achieving a win in their final group game as they face Netherlands on Friday, with the European nation needing a win to guarantee qualification to the round of 16.

South Africa are the only other host team to be eliminated in the group stage, although the African side at least went out with a win and a draw from their three games.

The tiny Gulf nation spent around $220bn on the first World Cup in the Middle East, according to estimates, but has found that great wealth can’t buy a world-class football team.

Qatar had never qualified for the game’s biggest tournament before winning the right to host it 12 years ago. Every squad member for the 2019 Asian champion plays for a local club.

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