Replacement Mohammed Muntari scored Qatar’s first ever World Cup goal late in the second half, but it proved to be only a consolation for the home side. Senegal went into the break with a 1-0 lead and doubled their lead shortly after the start of the second half. Boulaye Dia scored the first goal in the 41st minute, before that Famara Diediou made it 2-0 for Senegal in the 48th minute.
Mutari reduced the gap in the 78th minute to give the home fans some hope, which lasted just six minutes with substitute Bamba Dieng restoring Senegal’s two-goal advantage in the 84th minute. The third goal sealed the game for the African side, who now have three points from two games and remain in contention for the next round.
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While Qatar was tantalizingly close to elimination due to the second defeat in as many games.
With a win or a draw for the Netherlands against Ecuador, which beat Qatar in the opening game of the tournament later on Friday, the Qataris will become the first team to be mathematically eliminated from the competition.
Opening night nerves were nowhere to be seen as Qatar quickly got to grips with Senegal and they should have been awarded a penalty when Ismaila Sarr bundled on Akram Afif, but Spanish referee Antonio Mateu brushed off their pleas and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) did not intervene.
With Qatar defending well, Senegal would need a magic moment or a catastrophic mistake to break the deadlock, and unfortunately for Qatar defender Boualem Khoukhi it turned out to be the latter.
His attempt to clear a routine low pass from Krepin Diatta into the penalty area went disastrously wrong when he went down without making proper contact with the ball.
Khoukhi’s blunder allowed Dia to strike, and the 26-year-old striker didn’t need a second invite to rattle the ball in at the near post to put Senegal ahead.
With the Qatari crowd thinned out at the start of the second half, Famara Diedhou doubled Senegal’s lead with a brilliant header from a corner by Ismail Jakobs in the 48th minute.
Muntari narrowed the deficit in the 78th with a bullet header from Ismail Mohamad’s cross, but Senegalese substitute Bamba Dieng swept home his side’s third to send Qatar bottom of Group A with no points, while their group rivals each have three.
(With input from agencies)