from HUSSEIN HUSSAIN in Doha, Qatar
DOHA, (CAJ News) – SENEGAL have secured their biggest ever win at the World Cup, thereby putting their campaign back on track at the expense of hosts Qatar on Friday.
The African champions won 3-1 at Al Thumama, a result that surely sends the Qataris out of the tournament.
More colourful and jubilant in the stands, Senegal were dominant on the pitch and broke the deadlock through Boulaye Dia.
The forward capitalized on a defensive blunder by Boualem Khoukhi to fire a powerful shot past ‘keeper Meshaal Aissa Barsham in the 41st minute.
The Teranga Lions, beate 2-0 by Netherlands in their first encounter, enjoyed a great deal of possession here with the hosts’ Akram Afif however nagging them with his trickery.
They rarely threatened the goal of Edouard Mendy however.
The second half began the same way as the first ended as Famara Diedhiou scored with an emphatic header from an Ismail Jakobs corner in the 48th minute.
This goal somehow awakened Qatar and twice in the 64th and 67th minute, Almoez Ali and Ismael Mohammad drew saves from Mendy.
He was eventually beaten as substitute made an impression with finely headed goal by substitute Mohammed Muntari in the 78th minute.
The stadium erupted, this being the Asian champions’ first World Cup finals goal. The hosts are debutantes and this is the first tournament to be held on Arabian soil.
The goal by Ghanaian-born player set up a nervy finish.
But Bamba Dieng showed nerves of steel with brilliant first time finish in the 84th minute to extinguish any hopes of a comeback by The Maroons.
Ecuador and Netherlands were to contest the other Group A match the Khalifa International.
The 2002 quarter-finalists Senegal’s last group match is against Ecuador at the Khalifa International, the same time Qatar plays the Netherlands at Al Bayt.
– CAJ News