Qatar became the first World Cup host country to be eliminated after their first two games after a 3-1 defeat by Senegal on Friday.
It is mathematically impossible for the 2022 World Cup hosts to be one of the top two teams in Group A and make it through to the next round with one group stage still to go. The Netherlands and Ecuador each won their first games of the tournament – Ecuador beat Qatar 2-0 – and drew 1-1 on Friday. They each have four points and Senegal have three after beating Qatar. Even if Qatar beat the Netherlands on Tuesday, they won’t have more than three points.
Senegal jammed halftime with their two crucial goals. Boulaye Did scored in the 41st minute and then Famara Diedhiou found the eventual winner just three minutes after the break. Mohammed Muntari scored for Qatar in the 78th minute, but Senegal decided the game with Bamba Dieng’s goal in the 84th minute.
Qatar made a long bid to make it to the knockout rounds of the tournament but their elimination after two games is nothing short of a massive disappointment for a country that has been preparing for the World Cup for over a decade. The infrastructure of the Qatar national football team was built for the tournament and the national team played in events such as the North American Gold Cup in preparation for the World Cup.
Qatar is the only country, along with South Africa, eliminated from the World Cup in the group stage. South Africa separated Mexico in the opener of this World Cup, but their win over France in the final group match wasn’t enough to advance as Mexico progressed on goal difference.
And while South Africa was an easy team to find 12 years ago, there are undoubtedly millions of people around the world who, given the myriad controversies surrounding this tournament, are not unhappy that the World Cup in Qatar will not progress beyond the group stage . According to the United States Department of Justice, several FIFA officials received bribes to vote for Qatar to host the tournament. And after Qatar won the World Cup bid, the poor treatment of thousands of migrant workers who helped build stadiums was a black mark on the tournament, along with the country’s paltry human rights record.