Cody Gakpo (top) of the Netherlands fights for possession against Piero Hincapie of Ecuador. AFP
Doha, Qatar – Host nation Qatar crashed out of the World Cup on Friday after a second straight defeat before an uninspired England missed the chance to wrap up qualification for the last 16 following a 0-0 draw with the United States.
Qatar lost, 3-1, to Senegal and became the first team to be knocked out of this World Cup after the Netherlands and Ecuador drew 1-1 in the other Group A game.
Asian champions Qatar had high hopes coming into the tournament but became only the second home team to crash out in the group stage, after South Africa in 2010.
Goals from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou and Bamba Dieng were enough to give African champion Senegal the win.
Mohammed Muntari scored Qatar’s only World Cup goal so far in a deeply disappointing debut on football’s biggest stage – it is the first time a World Cup host nation has gone out after just two games.
“We would like to say we’re very sorry to the supporters, to the country,” said Qatar defender Tarek Salman, a second-half substitute.
Senegal must beat Ecuador to advance to the knockout phase.
After thumping Iran, 6-2, in their opening match, an unimaginative England produced a limp display against the USA and was booed off at full-time.
Earlier, Iran scored twice deep into stoppage time to stun Wales, 2-0, and breathe new life into a World Cup campaign overshadowed by mass anti-government protests at home.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s team camp announced that superstar forward Neymar would miss the side’s next game against Switzerland after he suffered ankle ligament damage in their opening 2-0 win against Serbia.
“Today is one of the most difficult moments of my career and again in a World Cup,” Neymar wrote on Instagram.