Host nation Qatar became the first nation to exit this year’s FIFA World Cup after the Netherlands vs Ecuador game ended in a 1-1 draw on Friday. Qatar had earlier slumped to a 3-1 defeat by Senegal at the Al Thumama Stadium, despite Mohammed Muntari netting a first-ever World Cup finals goal for the Qataris.
The opening-night nerves were nowhere to be seen as Qatar quickly got to grips with Senegal and it should have had a penalty when Ismaila Sarr bundled over Akram Afif, but Spanish referee Antonio Mateu waved away their pleas and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) did not intervene.
With Qatar defending well, it was going to take either a moment of magic or a catastrophic mistake for Senegal 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 into the box by Krepin Diatta went disastrously wrong as he went to ground without making proper contact with the ball.
Khoukhi’s fluffed effort allowed Dia to pounce, and the 26-year-old striker needed no second invitation to rattle the ball in at the near post to give Senegal the lead.
With the Qatari crowd thinning out somewhat at the start of the second half, Famara Diedhou doubled Senegal’s advantage with a brilliant glancing header from an Ismail Jakobs corner in the 48th minute.
Muntari reduced the deficit in the 78th with a bullet header from Ismail Mohamad’s cross, but Senegal substitute Bamba Dieng swept home his side’s third to consign Qatar to the bottom of Group A with no points, while its group rivals all have three.