Mohammed Muntari’s header gave Qatar brief hope of a comeback, but their World Cup hopes are increasingly slender after a defeat to Senegal.
World Cup hosts Qatar are staring down the barrel of an early exit from the tournament after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Senegal.
Beaten 2-0 by Ecuador in their opening Group A match, a late push on Friday at Al Thumama Stadium was not enough for Qatar to claim a much-needed result.
With Boulaye Dia and Famara Diedhiou having put Senegal in control, Qatar had hope when Mohammed Muntari scored their first World Cup goal.
However, it was too little too late for the hosts, with substitute Bamba Dieng rounding off Senegal’s victory six minutes from time.
After a bright start from Senegal, the lively Qatar fans gathered behind Edouard Mendy’s goal were furious in the 34th minute, when Akram Afif was bundled over by Ismaila Sarr, but referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz waved away the seemingly valid penalty appeals.
Yet just as they had grown into the game, Qatar were made to pay for Boualem Khoukhi’s calamitous error, with his failed clearance falling to Dia, who made no mistake with a composed finish.
Qatar’s hopes were dealt a further blow three minutes into the second half – Diedhiou turning in Ismail Jakobs’ inswinging corner.
Senegal had Mendy to thank for two excellent stops as Qatar searched for a goal back, the Chelsea goalkeeper brilliantly denying Almoez Ali and Ismaeel Mohammad.
Muntari’s superb header four minutes after coming on set up a grandstand finish, yet Dieng swept home to strike the decisive blow and leave Qatar on the brink.