Qatar, the host nation of the FIFA World Cup 2022, was eliminated from the tournament on Friday (November 25).
Millions of dreams have been shattered as Qatar became the first host nation in the history of the football World Cup to be knocked out after only two games.
Qatar made history by becoming the first country from the Middle East region to host the World Cup and now has the unwanted record of becoming just the second home team to exit the competition at the group stage, after South Africa in 2010.
In their second match of Group A, Qatar suffered a 1-3 defeat against Senegal. Goals from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, and Bamba Dieng gave the African champions Senegal the win they needed. For Qatar, Mohammed Muntari scored the only goal.
Qatar still have one final game to play. Their final game is on Tuesday against Group A leader Netherlands at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Even if they manage to pull off a shock win over the Netherlands, they can only finish with a total of three points, which is not enough to catch up with their group rivals.
It is a disappointing end for Qatar, who hoped to galvanise the same spirit previous hosts have shown when holding the tournament.
To the constant soundtrack of drums coming from the lively supporters of the African champions, Qatar’s players could barely lay a glove on their opponents for much of the match at the Al Thumama Stadium, with Aliou Cisse’s side being too clever and too experienced for the rudimentary tactics of the hosts.
Felix Sanchez’s men did improve as the game went on, and they enjoyed a brief flurry of pressure shortly after the hour mark, but they were completely drowned out by the noise of the Senegal supporters until they pulled a goal back through forward Mohammed Muntari to reduce their deficit to 2-1.
The header was met by jubilant celebrations around the ground as Qatar celebrated their first-ever World Cup goal, but it wasn’t long before the game was taken away from them with Dieng’s strike.
However, their fate was sealed when Ecuador and the Netherlands drew 1-1.
Against Senegal, there were moments when Qatar showed exciting attacking play but they were outplayed by the opponents.
Qatar’s run in the World Cup was unpleasant as they started their campaign with a loss against Ecuador. And also off the field, the situation remained nightmarish as the host nation faced massive criticism over alleged migrant workers’ deaths.
Qatar defender Tarek Salman, who was a second-half substitute, said: “We would like to say we’re very sorry to the supporters, to the country. We have made them feel bad about losing two games in a row in the World Cup.”
The Netherlands will qualify for the last 16 by avoiding defeat to Qatar in their final match. On the other hand, Senegal must beat Ecuador to advance to the knockout phase.