Welcome to our second World Cup game of the day, everyone. The similarities end at some point, you might argue. Senegal looked sprightly and competitive against the Netherlands early on, and were mainly slowed by a lack of cutting edge up front, but Qatar turned in a rabbits-trapped in-headlights non-performance against Ecuador, and were lucky their opponents declared at half-time. All that Aspire academy cash, all those gifted places in other tournaments, including this one as hosts, all that unavoury geopolitical positioning and for that?
Things were very difficult emotionally, and dealing with the World Cup is completely different. Felix S nchez, their manager, said yesterday that they hope that the performance will be as competitive against Senegal, 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. Qatar have shown some pedigree in recent times, and they almost certainly won't play as poorly again. Senegal, you fancy, have more, but they sorely missed Sadio Man against the Dutch. They will be sweating on the full match-fitness of Cheikhou Kouyat and Abdou Diallo, important cogs in the team who were forced off in Monday s match with niggles. There is an early pattern of African teams struggling to score despite a lot of quality and attacking intent, as we can generalise.