After an introduction totally missed against Ecuador on Sunday for the opening match of the World Cup (0-2), Qatar was keen to redeem themselves on Friday in front of their home crowd against Senegal. If they showed a better face, the Qataris lost again (1-3), almost destroying their hopes of qualifying for the round of 16 of the competition.
The game: 3-1
From the outset, Qatar suffered the onslaught of Senegal, eager to bounce back after his inaugural defeat against the Netherlands on Monday (0-2). The first thrill came from a strike from Gana Gueye in the 24th minute, a little too crossed. The Senegalese then continued to push and were rewarded at the end of the first period by the opener of Boulaye Dia (41st). After a cross from Krepin Diatta on the left side, the Salernitana striker took advantage of a big error from Boualem Khoukhi, rolling on the ball in the penalty area, to deceive Meshaal Barsham with a right foot from close range.
With their goal just before the break, the Senegalese left with the same footing after the break and doubled the bet from a corner through Famara Diedhiou (48th). The Senegalese striker, surprise starter alongside Dia in a 4-4-2 after Cheikhou Kouyaté’s injury against the Netherlands, proved his coach Aliou Cissé right by cutting a corner from Monegasque Ismail Jakobs at the near post .
Senegal shaken up
However, the scenario could have been completely different for Senegal if Mateu Lahoz, the referee of the meeting, had awarded a penalty to Qatar in the middle of the first period. In the 34th minute, Akram Afif had indeed infiltrated the Senegalese defense before collapsing in the area following contact with Ismaïla Sarr.
Despite Senegal’s second goal, it was the Qataris who dominated the second half. After a first big strike from Abdelkarim Hassan passed right next to it (61st), it was Édouard Mendy, decried after the first game of the Teranga Lions, who saved his family twice. He first quickly lay down in front of Almoez Ali (63rd) before making an exceptional parade on a resumption of the head of Ismaeel Mohammad (67th).
On the other hand, he could not do anything in front of that of Mohammed Muntari, who had just come into play, who scored the first goal for Qatar in the history of the World Cup (76th). At 2-1, the Qataris however lost concentration and let Marseille’s Bamba Dieng score a third goal for Senegal (84th). After a last free kick from Hassan not on target (89th), the Senegalese were finally able to manage their advantage to get the first victory for an African team since the start of the World Cup.