20 mins: Afif looks sharply down the right and marries down that flank again winning an attacking throw near the corner flag, but Senegal are quick to break and Ismail Mohamad receives the game’s first booking for illegally stopping said break.
18 mins: Senegal go straight up the other end and Diatta lands a corner on the left. It’s threatening and Barsham, the goalkeeper, is ahead but he is overwhelmed by Diedhou. And Barsham has taken a hit and needs treatment. But he is on his feet in minutes and can continue.
15 minutes: Qatar earning a free kick from a decent position, Afif throws it, it’s cleared but it ends up coming back to him just outside the box but he can’t control the rebound and the explosions and Qatar are still looking for their first shot on tournament target. Better hosts though.
13 mins: The final ball hasn’t quite left for Senegal yet with Sabaly overtaking a pass on the right for Gueye.
Meanwhile, Cold War Steve has done something for us:
12 mins: Mendy collects the ball in midfield and moves forward to throw a pass in Diatta’s direction but he can’t get a decent ball in and Qatar release. Senegal well on top already here.
10 minutes: A half opening for Qatar as Hamam probes inside left, but he gets away from him and runs for a goal kick. The outnumbered Senegalese fans make a decent old racket, a group in good name.
9 mins: Diatta, who went from right to left for this game, breaks free on the left and wins a pitch. Everything went well and the cross finds Diedhou in space but he is a bit careless and his shot is blocked and goes out to Dia (I think) who shoots wide.
7 minutes: Qatar keep their form better than they did in Sunday’s first half and end up attacking through Afif who excites the crowd with a run down the left but lacks support and Senegal are cleared.
4 mins: Sabaly launches another attack with deft juggling inside on the right and it finally worked for Sarr who squirms inside the right area and his shot is deflected into the side netting. But he doesn’t get the corner he should have.
3 minutes: Qatar appear to be playing 3-5-2, boldly, but Senegal have the first sustained possession spell but waste it when Sabaly nods obediently out of play to his right
Peep! And Qatar get us started.
The teams are out. The stadium isn’t completely full but it continues to fill, with Qatar supporters waving their uniform flags
Things you may not know: Qatar goalkeeper Meshaal Barsham is the brother of Olympic high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim, Gary Lineker tells us on the Beeb.
Before you start …
“Now that Wales have lost to Iran can the USMNT defeat England today? asks Kurt Perleberg. They could yes, if they build on their impressive first half against Wales and England to get back to the form they were in before Monday. I fancy USA to score at least, and while England should win a draw, that’s not a bad cry. A victory for the United States would greatly increase the chances of Wales.
Back to the game before us, Qatar could be happy with Iran’s display: if Carlos Queiroz’s side can recover from a disastrous and politically charged opener, they could too.
off the field, crusader costumes are the latest items to be banned, though frankly I play the smallest fiddle in the world for anyone wearing this crude, insensitive outfit. Here’s a guide to what’s not allowed.
Fancy a bit of Senegalese nostalgia? How about one of the best matches of Japan/South Korea 2002?
Your lunchtime reading:
Objective! Wales 0-2 Iran. It’s getting worse and worse for Robert Page’s team, but Iran deserved it, they were excellent. And there is full time.
Back to this oneand these queues: Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al-Sheeb makes way for Meshaal Barsham, unsurprisingly after his nervous performance against Ecuador. For Senegal, Ismail Jakobs defends the injured Cheikhou Kouyaté and Pape Abou Cissé is replaced by Famara Diedhiou.
Objective! Wales 0-1 Iran – Iran won it in the end.
Qatar: Barsham, Pedro Miguel, Mohammad, Khoukhi, Abdelkarim Hassan, Ahmed, Al-Haydos, Boudiaf, Madibo, Ali, Afif
Senegal: Edouard Mendy, Sabaly, Koulibaly, Jakobs, Diallo, Idrissa Gueye, Nampalys Mendy, Diatta, Diedhiou, Ismaila Sarr, Dia.
Or has he? A VAR check does it for him and he has to go for Taremi’s snap when the striker was clean. Wales are down to just 10 men.
And in group B, a tense old encounter enters its final phase. With Wayne Hennessey somehow getting away with only a yellow card earlier…
Some essentials pre-game reading:
Hello everyone and welcome to our second world Cup game of the day. It pits the respective Asian and African champions against each other, each having lost their opening game 0-2. At that point, you might say, the similarities stop. While Senegal looked sharp and competitive against the Netherlands, especially at the start, and were mostly undone by a lack of an edge up front, Qatar turned a non-performance of trapped rabbits in the headlights against Ecuador, and was lucky his opponents declared at halftime. All that Aspire academy money, all those gifted places in other tournaments, including this one as host, all that unsavory geopolitical positioning – and for this?
“Emotionally things have been very difficult, and managing the World Cup is completely different. I hope the performance will be as competitive against Senegal,” their manager, Félix Sánchez admitted yesterday, adding: “We prepared to the possibility of an early release, but that does not mean the end of the project. I am convinced that Qatar will continue their project to maintain a strong team, compete and qualify for future tournaments. Ah yes, Projects. Always with the Projects.
Either way, Qatar certainly won’t play so badly again, and they’ve shown some pedigree lately. Senegal, you can imagine, have more but Sadio Mané sorely missed them against the Dutch. They will also be sweating the full fitness of Cheikhou Kouyaté and Abdou Diallo, important cogs in the team who were sent off in Monday’s game with trouble. As far as we can generalise, there seems to be an early pattern of African teams struggling to score despite plenty of quality and attacking intent. Will that pattern change here?
Kick off at 13:00 GMT.