Senegal registered their first win of the 2022 FIFA World Cup (WC) following a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Qatar at the Al Thumama Stadium.
Senegal began assertively in the first H2H encounter between the two nations as Ismaïla Sarr unleashed a fearsome strike into the side-netting.
In the wake of failing to register a shot on target in the tournament’s opening match, Qatar presented themselves more encouragingly than against Ecuador.
Senegal continued to look the more likely of the two sides to break the deadlock as Idrissa Gueye fired wide of the left-hand post.
After becoming the first host nation to lose the opening match of a World Cup finals, Qatar were left bemused in the 35th minute after Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz failed to point to the spot after Sarr had carelessly brought down Akram Afif.
With the HT interval fast approaching, Senegal took a deserved lead in the 41st minute when Boulaye Dia fired past Meshaal Barsham following a defensive debacle within the Qatari defence.
On course to become only the fifth host nation to lose their opening two WC matches, Qatar found themselves staring at an early exit from the tournament within three minutes of the second half.
After registering 14 shots against the Netherlands despite the absence of Sadio Mané, Senegal needed less than half of those opportunities to find the back of the net for a second time as Famara Diedhiou’s exquisite glancing header doubled the Lions of Teranga’s lead in the 48th minute.
In desperate need of an immediate response in front of goal, Qatar finally threatened their opponents for the first time in the tournament as Mendy redirected Almoez Ali’s strike around the post before the Chelsea goalkeeper.
With time running out, substitute Mohammed Muntari handed Qatar an opportunity to salvage their WC dreams with a towering header that flew past Mendy.
However, Félix Sánchez’s side's aspirations of a comeback were ended six minutes later when Bamba Dieng sublimely fired past Barsham.
The victory kept Senegal's aspirations intact for their first appearance in the knockout stages of a WC finals since 2002.
In contrast, Qatar will become the first-ever host nation to be eliminated after two matches, if Netherlands avoid defeat against Ecuador.