24 minutes: Ahmed takes down Sabaly, again done for pace, and Qatar needs to be careful about that. After which Gueye shaves a low shot close to the post. Best chance yet.
20 minutes: Looking gleefully to the right, Afif plunders down that flank, winning another attacking throw at the corner flag, but Senegal quickly breaks and Ismail Mohamad gets the first yellow card for illegally stopping that break.
18 minutes: Senegal on the other side goes straight and Diatta wins a corner on the left. It’s a menacing one and Barsham, the keeper, is outmaneuvered, but he’s headed wide by Diedhou. And Barsham took a hit and needs treatment. But he is back on his feet within a few minutes and can continue.
15 minutes: Qatar wins a free kick in decent position, Afif lobs it in, he gets cleared but eventually gets back to him just outside the area, but he can’t get over the bounce and shoots over and Qatar are still looking for their first shot on goal of the tournament. Better from the hosts.
13 minutes: The last ball hasn’t quite come out yet for Senegal, with Sabaly skipping a pass to the right for Gueye.
Meanwhile, Cold War Steve did something for us:
12 minutes: Mendy wins the ball in midfield and drives forward to throw a pass towards Diatta, but he doesn’t get a decent ball and Qatar clears. Senegal is already well at the top here.
10 minutes: Half an opening for Qatar as Hamam probes on the inside from the left, but it moves away from him and runs out for a goal kick. Senegal’s outnumbered fans make a pretty old racket, band in good condition.
9 minutes: Diatta, who switched from right to left for this play, gets free down the left and wins a throw. It worked out well and the cross finds Diedhou in space, but he’s a bit sloppy and his shot is blocked and goes out to Dia (I think) who shoots wide.
7 minutes: Qatar holds onto its form better than it did in the first half of Sunday from hell and eventually attacks through Afif who thrills the crowd with a run-in from the left, but he lacks support and Senegal clear.
4 minutes: Sabaly initiates another attack with some skillful juggling on the inside right and it eventually worked out to Sarr wriggling inside the right side of the area and his shot deflected into the side netting. But he’s not getting the angle he should have.
3 minutes: Qatar look brave to play 3-5-2 but Senegal have their first sustained spell of possession, but waste it when Sabaly tamely nods out of play on their right
Peeking! And Qatar sets us on our way.
The teams are out. The stadium is not completely full, but it is still filling up, Qatar fans 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 reports on the Beeb.
Before we start …
“Now Wales has lost to Iran can the USMNT beat England today?” asks Kurt Perleberg. They can, if they build on their impressive first half against Wales and England fall back to the form they were in before Monday. I imagine the US at least score, and while England should win a draw, that’s not a bad cry. However, a US win would boost Wales’ chances quite a bit.
Back to the game ahead: Qatar could take heart from Iran’s performance: if Carlos Queiroz’s side can recover from a catastrophic and politically charged opener, so can they.
Off the field, crusader costumes are the latest items to be reportedly banned, although I honestly play the smallest fiddle in the world for anyone in that clunky and insensitive suit. Here’s a guide to what’s not allowed.
Fancy a bit of Senegalese nostalgia? How about one of the best games of Japan/South Korea 2002?
Your lunch reading:
Goal! Wales 0-2 Iran. It gets worse for Robert Page’s side, but Iran deserved this – they’ve been excellent. And there is full time.
Back to this one, and those lineups: Qatari goalkeeper Saad Al-Sheeb makes way for Meshaal Barsham, not surprising after his nervous performance against Ecuador. For Senegal, Ismail Jakobs comes on the defense for the injured Cheikhou Kouyaté and Pape Abou Cisse is replaced by Famara Diedhiou.
Goal! Wales 0-1 Iran – Iran has finally won.
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 the trick for him and he has to go for clattering Taremi when the striker was clean. Wales are down to 10 men.
And in Group B, a tense old encounter enters its final phase. With Wayne Hennessey somehow escaping with only a yellow card just now…
Some essential reading before the game:
Hello everyone, and welcome to our second World Cup match of the day. It pits the respective Asian and African champions against each other, who each lost their opening games 0-2. At that point, you could say, the similarities end. While Senegal looked lively and competitive against the Netherlands, especially early on, and was mostly undone by a lack of progress up front, Qatar turned in a non-appearance rabbits in the headlights against Ecuador, and were lucky their opponents declared in the rest. All that money from the Aspire academy, all those gifted places in other tournaments, including this one as host, all that unsavory geopolitical positioning – and for That?
“Emotionally things were very difficult, and dealing with the World Cup is completely different. I hope the performance will be as competitive as Senegal’s,” their manager, Felix Sánchez, admitted yesterday, adding: “We have prepared for the possibility of an early retirement, but this does not mean the end of the project. I am confident that Qatar will continue their project to maintain a strong team, compete and qualify for the upcoming tournaments.” Ah yes, Projects. Always with the Projects.
Anyway, Qatar almost certainly won’t play that bad again, and they’ve shown some pedigree in recent times. Senegal, you think, has more, but they missed Sadio Mane very much against the Dutch. They will also sweat from the full match fitness of Cheikhou Kouyaté and Abdou Diallo, important cogs in the team who had to leave on Monday with minuses. As far as we can generalize, there seems to be an early pattern of African teams struggling to score despite a lot of quality and attacking intent. Will that pattern shift here?
Kick-off at 13:00 GMT.