Senegal hammer Qatar

26 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Senegal hammer Qatar Mohammed Muntari of Qatar heads to score his side’s first goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Senegal at Al Thumama Stadium in Doha yesterday

The Herald

Doha. — Hapless hosts Qatar on the brink of an early World Cup exit after the African champions cruise to victory in the Group A clash to give their chances of reaching the last 16 a huge boost

The best stadiums to ever stage a World Cup? Quite possibly. But Qatar risk being remembered for having the worst hosting team to go with those sparkling steel and glass structures in the desert.

South Africa were the only hosts to exit at the group stage previously but they won our admiration for giving it a go in 2010. Qatar waited until they were trailing 2-0 before doing so here.

They got a goal back — their first ever at a World Cup — but it’s a second successive defeat for the Qataris. They’re heading for the exit, much like their supporters who have taken to leaving games early.

The Netherlands are next. South Africa beat France in their final group game in 2010. It will take an almighty effort if Qatar are to ensure they don’t go down as the World Cup’s worst hosts in history.

In better news for Senegal, they became the first African team to win a game at this World Cup, doing so without Sadio Mane.

Manager Aliou Cisse will not like how they gave Qatar a glimpse of a result in the second half but a win’s a win. Their date with Ecuador on Tuesday now has all the makings of a tasty decider.

Qatar’s erratic goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb was dropped to make way for Meshaal Barsham, the younger brother of Olympic high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim. One early leap from Barsham was misjudged as Famara Diedhiou nearly headed home a corner.

Every man in Senegal’s XI had experience of playing in Europe’s elite leagues. Only one member of Qatar’s team could say the same and that was Akram Afif, their brightest spark.

In the 34th minute, with Qatar having not yet managed a shot on target at this World Cup, the hosts hoped for some help from Spanish referee Antonio Mateu. Afif broke behind Senegal and stepped across Ismaila Sarr, dropping down under pressure from the Watford player.

It was clever from Afif — the sort of movement we see Leicester’s Jamie Vardy make in the Premier League — yet it didn’t work. No penalty from Mateu, and no correction from VAR, despite Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo winning a spot-kick for much less a day previous.

The Qataris’ anger was only amplified when Boulaye Dia then made it 1-0 to Senegal. Central defender Boualem Khoukhi made a mess of trying to clear the danger in his own box, Dia capitalised and lashed the loose ball beyond Barsham.

There was no Mane, but as Wales discovered with Gareth Bale earlier in the day, countries cannot rely on one man. Dia had stepped up and Senegal had a 1-0 half-time lead.

In the 48th minute, it was 2-0. Ismail Jakobs’ corner came in and Diedhiou nipped in front of Almoez Ali to glance his header beyond Barsham. It was a goal that would be celebrated in Bristol, with the striker having spent four years at Ashton Gate.

Qatar had no choice now. They had to go for it. After 165 minutes of World Cup football, they finally had their first shot on target when Afif fed Ali, whose attempt was nudged wide by Edouard Mendy.

In the 67th minute, Ismail Mohamad thought he had scored, only for Mendy to produce a super reaction save with his right hand.

This was Qatar’s best spell of this World Cup and it was 2-1 after 78 minutes. Mohamad crossed from the right and Mohammed Muntari, having come on as a substitute, headed beyond Mendy.

Game on — or so we thought. Senegal completed the 3-1 scoreline with Bamba Dieng meeting Iliman Ndiaye’s cut-back into the box.

A second successive defeat for Qatar and the Netherlands are next. The only bonus is they don’t have to travel far to get home. — Dailymailsport.

 

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