Status: 11/25/2022 4:28 p.m
Senegal is back in the World Cup tournament. The Africans won a turbulent second-half game against Qatar. But the World Cup hosts have also improved.
Sengeal can hope to reach the round of 16 after a 3-1 (1-0) win against World Cup hosts Qatar. The Africans collected their first points by winning Group A and will now see a knockout round final against Ecuador on Tuesday (29/11/2022). Qatar, on the other hand, is on the verge of being eliminated from the home World Cup despite the historically first World Cup goal.
Plus chances for Senegal
In the duel of the two 0:2 losers of the first matchday (Qatar vs Ecuador, Senegal versus the Netherlands) both teams showed themselves improved compared to their World Cup opener. Senegal took control early on in the game and at times had more than 60 percent possession of the ball. Senegal radiates danger, especially on the left side and the axis Krepin Diatta/Famara Diedhiou. Nampalys Mendy gave a first sign of caution, his shot on target went just wide (8′), shortly afterwards Diatta tested Qatar keeper Meshaal Barsham with a shot from a tight angle (16′).
Rough mistake before Senegal leadership
The best chance led to a 1-0 lead just before half-time – courtesy of World Cup hosts Qatar. Defender Boualem Khoukhi didn’t hit the ball properly when trying to defend against an actually harmless shot, Boulaye Dia switched the fastest and scored the goal from around twelve meters (41′).
The 1-0 for Senegal.
Image: ap/Thanassis Stavrakis
New keeper and similar mistakes at Qatar
But Qatar, who made a second-rate appearance in the opening game of the World Cup, also had their chances. Coach Felix Sanchez’s team acted more compactly and waited for counterattacks. In goal, the coach brought in Meshaal Barsham, a new man for Saad Al-Sheeb, who was uncertain against Ecuador. Barsham initially looked safer with defensive actions, but had similar problems when running out and thus repeatedly put his team in danger.
Qatar improved – at a moderate level
Qatar played more courageously going forward. A long-range shot by Akram Afif went over it (15′), but it became really dangerous after 33 minutes with a counterattack. Attacker Afif was released on the left, went for goal alone, but hesitated too long to finish. So Imaila Sarr Afif could still disrupt decisively. The Qatar kickers protested against the physical effort of Senegal’s Sarr, but referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz refused to take the penalty and the VAR did not respond either.
Rare standard goal to 2:0
Senegal went into the break with a 1-0 lead – and increased immediately after the restart. After a corner, Diedhiou headed in to make it 2-0 and thus only the third standard goal of the title fights (48th).
Best Qatar phase after 0:2
For hosts Qatar, it was precisely this 0-2 deficit that once again unleashed strength. The team from the desert country, which had been preparing for the World Cup for two years and in Europe, attacked higher and now boldly played forward. Qatar had their best period of the entire World Cup – and several great chances. Abdekalrim Hassan shot team-mate Almoez Ali from the best position in the penalty area (56′). Shortly thereafter, a flutter ball from Hassan flew just wide of the post (59′). When Qatar had the best chance, Ismail Mohammed forced Senegal keeper Edouard Mendy to make a brilliant save (65′).
Muntari gives Qatar hope again
Mohammes Muntari finally sparked hopes of winning a point: after a nice cross from the right, he headed in centrally to make it 1-2 (78′). Muntari’s goal was Qatar’s first home World Cup goal and the country’s historic first goal at a World Cup. Expression of the strong second half of Qatar: After only two chances in the first 45 minutes, the Asian champions came after the change to eight goals.
Mohammed Muntari (right) scores the goal for Qatar.
counter to the decision
Now Qatar was all forward, Senegal waited for a counterattack and hit back. Substitute Bamba Dieng completed a counter-attack from the middle to make it 3-1 (84′). Now Qatar found no new answer.