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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Host nation Qatar eliminated from World Cup as Netherlands play 1-1 draw against Ecuador

Host nation Qatar has been eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup as Netherlands play a 1-1 draw against Ecuador on Friday.

Hosts Qatar have been eliminated just two games into the World Cup after a 3-1 defeat to Senegal at Al Thumama Stadium.

Qatar are rooted to the bottom of Group A with one game to play and became the first team to be knocked out of the competition after Netherlands avoided defeat against Ecuador.

Qatar become the first hosts in the history of the World Cup to be knocked out after just two matches.

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Boulaye Dia (41) and Famara Diedhiou (48) struck either side of half-time to put Senegal in control as they set about responding to their opening-night defeat to the Netherlands.

Mohammed Muntari pulled one back (78) with an historic first goal at a World Cup finals for Qatar, but the hosts’ unlikely comeback lasted just six minutes as Ahmadou Dieng restored Senegal’s two-goal lead (84).

After a World Cup debut to forget against Ecuador, Qatar’s improvement against Senegal was visible, though they lacked an attacking threat in a one-sided first half.

The hosts felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Akram Afif was felled by Ismaila Sarr in the area, but the appeals were ignored by referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.

Qatar head coach Felix Sanchez said his side should not be branded a “failure and disappointment” after they lost their second group game, a result that puts the World Cup hosts on the brink of elimination from the tournament.

“I do think we played a good game,” Sanchez reflected. “When you come here you need to know where you’re coming from. If this is a failure and disappointment, that depends on expectations.

“Our goal was to be competitive… We’ve been working for so many months to be able to give a good performance. But sometimes the match does not play out as you expect. It also depends on the opponents’ performance. We didn’t play at our top level. We were competitive but didn’t improve.”

What does the result mean?

Qatar’s second defeat at the 2022 World Cup leaves them bottom of Group A with no points and, after Netherlands and Ecuador drew 1-1, out of the competition.

In the final Group A games, Qatar face the Netherlands and Ecuador take on Senegal on Tuesday at 3pm.

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