The 2022 FIFA World Cup is welcoming an end to its group stage where only six groups left yet to complete their respective matches. Seven out of the available 16 spots in the first round of knockout stages have already been filled, in which Netherlands, Senegal, England, the United States of America, France, Brazil and Portugal have qualified. On the other hand, while the above teams triumph, many teams have their World Cup dreams perished in the group stage, such as Ecuador, Iran, Wales and Canada, with host nation Qatar being the biggest disappointment so far as it is the first host nation in the history of the World Cup to go winless in all three group matches. Many have also dubbed the Middle-East State the weakest host nation ever of such a major tournament. Let us briefly review the matches Qatar played in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar 0:2 Ecuador
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is the first to be held in a Middle-East State, and during the winter and mid-professional football season; Such a concept attracted attention for both the right and wrong reasons. The inaugural match of the quadrennial tournament saw Qatar take on Ecuador, in which the captain of the latter Enner Valencia provided a staggering display with a brace to give Ecuador a comfortable win. The loss meant Qatar is the first host nation to lose its opening match in the World Cup.
Qatar 1:3 Senegal
Like Ecuador, the Lions of Teranga had a relatively easy encounter against the host nation, where Senegal scored two goals in the span of eight minutes. Despite Qatar rallied back to score a goal in the 78th minute, Senegal restored their two-goal cushion six minutes later. Two consecutive losses signalled the exit from the tournament to the oil-rich region, the goal scored during the Qatar-Senegal clash was also the host nation’s only goal in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar 0:2 Netherlands
The host nation took on world no. 9 Netherlands last night in their last group fixture. With knockout stage progression out of the picture, the Qatari players were never in the game and a loss was inevitable. The Dutch dominated the game with 13 shots in 90 minutes plus injury time and scored one goal in each half to emerge the winner and topped Group A as a result. Louis van Gaal’s men will face USMNT next.
Seven goals conceded, three losses and only a goal scored clearly showed that Qatar is without a doubt, the weakest host nation the FIFA World Cup tournament has ever seen. The 2026 edition will be hosted by three countries and the team pool will be extended to 48 teams, but would Qatar qualify to the Finals next time around?
(Photo Credits: Sporting News)