Senegal wake up to defeat Qatar 3-1, give Morocco, Cameroon, Tunisia win lessons

Goals in both halves by Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, and Bamba Dieng helped the African champions to their first points in the competition after a disappointing start in their first game, where they conceded two late goals against the Netherlands.

Dia score Senegal’s first goal in Qatar

Having settled with the notion that Sadio Mane will never come to save them following the injury that ruled him out of the competition, Aliou Cisse’s team knew that they had to step up to the party themselves.

It did not take Senegal long to start the game early, with Ismaila Sarr taking the first shot at goal, but the goal bound attempt veered just a few centimeters wide of the right post.

Senegal came close again twelve minutes later but Meshaal Barsham was called to action, pulling off an astonishing save to deny Krepin Diatta.

The Africans spent the next 30 minutes dominating the game massively, although escaping a Qatari penalty in the process.

In the 41st minute, they eventually found the breakthrough as a mistake from the hosts’ defence gifted a chance to a lurking Dia who kept his cool, to tap in from close range.

Senegal quench Qatar resurgence

Ending the first 45 minutes on a good note, Senegal came into the succeeding half, even more energized, and in no time, got their second.

Just three minutes after the return, Diedhiou doubled the Teranga Lions’ lead by jumping highest inside the box to meet a perfectly executed corner kick by Ismail Jakobs.

The Asian champions almost halved the scores following a defence-splitting pass a few minutes after the half-hour, but Edouard Mendy pulled off a brilliant save to deny Almoez Ali’s shot. Qatar did threaten again, but Mendy was like his previous save, quick to stop Ismaeel Mohammad’s attempt on goal.

Ten minutes later, Mendy was beaten following a header from Mohammed Muntari, with the home crowd going into wide jubilations.

However, the excitement did not last long enough as Senegal got their third and final of the game through Dieng.

What next for Senegal and Qatar?

With three points secured, Cisse’s side will go into their final game with Ecuador next Tuesday, hoping to seal a pass to the knockout phases.

For Qatar, all hope might not be lost as a possible shock win against the Netherlands in their final group game, might perhaps, secure them passage – depending on if other group results favour them.