Substitute Mohammad Muntari scored Qatar’s first-ever World Cup goal late in the second half, but it proved to be just a consolation for the home side. Senegal entered the half-time break with a 1-0 lead and doubled the lead shortly after the start of the second half. Boulaye Dia scored the first goal in the 41st minute, before Famara Diedhiou made it 2-0 for Senegal in the 48th minute.
Mutari pulled one back in the 78th minute to give hope to the home fans, who 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.
Takeoff for Senegal 🙌@adidasfootball | #Fifa World Cup
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) 1669388448000
While the second defeat in as many games left Qatar very close to elimination.
A win or draw for the Netherlands against Ecuador, who beat Qatar in the opening game of the tournament, will later see the Qataris become the first team to be mathematically eliminated from the competition.
Opening night nerves were nowhere to be found as Qatar quickly got to grips with Senegal and they should have had a penalty when Ismaila Sarr grouped on Akram Afif, but Spanish referee Antonio Mateu rejected their appeals and the video assistant referee (VAR) did not intervene.
With Qatar defending well, it was going to take a moment of magic or a catastrophic mistake for Senegal to break the deadlock, and unfortunately for Qatar defender Boualem Khoukhi, it was the last.
His attempt to erase a routine low pass into the box by Krepin Diatta went awry as he went to ground without making proper contact with the ball.
Khoukhi’s pumping effort allowed Dia to pounce, and the 26-year-old striker didn’t need a second invitation to fire the ball at the near post to give Senegal the lead.
As the Qatari crowd thinned out somewhat at the start of the second half, Famara Diedhou doubled Senegal’s advantage with a brilliant header from an Ismail Jakobs corner in the 48th minute.
Muntari reduced the deficit in the 78th with a header from Ismail Mohamad’s cross but Senegal substitute Bamba Dieng brought home third to relegate Qatar bottom of Group A without points, while their rivals in the group have all three.
(With agency contributions)