News Matches
World Cup

Senegal Player Ratings: Mendy shines as Teranga Lions outwit World Cup hosts Qatar

20:14 EAT 25/11/2022
Edouard Mendy Senegal.
The goalkeeper’s key saves ensured the Africans got their first victory at the ongoing global finals

Senegal registered their first victory in the ongoing World Cup finals after beating Qatar 3-1 on Friday.

This was the first meeting of any kind between the hosts and the West Africans. It’s also the first time Senegal have ever faced the host nation in a World Cup match.

Meanwhile, it took the group rivals time to settle into the game with Qatar preferring long balls forward. The Teranga Lions, on the other hand, tried to control proceedings but Qatar’s strategy of high balls made it difficult to deal with.

As the game progressed, Qatar remained compact and disciplined while out of possession, and this posed a challenge to Senegal, who could not find a solution to the problem for most of the first half.

The reigning African champions returned from the half-time break hungrier and scored two more goals that condemned the Middle East nation to a second straight defeat.

  • Edouard Mendy.

    Edouard Mendy 8/10

    Although he was not tested much in the first half, he rose to the occasion in the second half when Qatar started chasing the game.

    The Chelsea goalkeeper – who took the brunt of the blame for the defeat against the Netherlands – whipped away a shot by Almoez Ali in the 63rd minute. This was a vital save that denied Qatar an equalizer.

    Mendy made a world-class save in the 66th minute when he dived to his right and parried away Ismaeel Mohammad’s effort. This was another crucial intervention for Mendy, who has been out of form for his club.

    He was, however, helpless as Mohammed Muntari powerfully headed the ball into the net in the 78th minute.

  • Youssouf Sabaly.

    Youssouf Sabaly 7.5/10

    At times he struggled to deal with Akram Afif, who persistently attempted to launch attacks from his position.

    He joined the attackers when Senegal were in possession, and this gave his side a numerical advantage going forward.

  • Ismail Jakobs

    Ismail Jakobs 8/10

    The marauding full-back stood tall on the left and did not accord Qatar any space to launch their attacks from that area.

    Apart from keeping Qatar’s attackers at bay along the flanks, his corner deliveries were also superbly executed.

  • Abdou Diallo

    Abdou Diallo 7/10

    Together with Koulibally, he was solid, as they also enjoyed effective cover from their deep-lying midfielders.

    This solidity will play an even larger role if it is maintained in the decisive game against Ecuador in the third match of the group.

  • Kalidou Koulibaly

    Kalidou Koulibally 7.5/10

    He was at ease most of the time and did not look troubled by the few attacks made by their opponents.

    A clearance in the second minute of added time in the first half proved vital. Afif made his way past Sabaly on the left wing, but the Chelsea defender was alert to clean the mess quickly.

    However, he and Pape Cisse could not stop Muntari from rising high to score, denying Senegal a clean sheet.

  • Nampalys Mendy

    Nampalys Mendy 8/10

    A dominating figure in the midfield, Mendy remained rock solid and gave the Qataris no chance to come close to Senegal’s penalty area.

    He was also involved in the attacks as the host nation were pushed deep into their own half and under pressure.

  • Krepin Diatta

    Krepin Diatta 7/10

    Diatta was a constant threat for Qatar down the left wing. He ensured Senegal’s attacks remained alive.

    Qatar struggled to contain speedy Diatta from making tricky movements that were needed to create goalscoring chances for Aliou Cisse’s side.

  • Idrissa Gueye

    Idrissa Gueye 7.5/10

    As Qatar sat deep, Gueye attempted to find shooting space in the 13th minute, but his final pass was overhit, and it went out.

    He was involved in the defensive duties and made a vital clearance in the 27th minute when Ismaeel Mohamad tried to get into the box and cause havoc.

    Being on top in the midfield duel meant the Teranga Lions were in control of the game as they fought for their first three points.

  • Boulaye Dia

    Boulaye Dia 8.5/10

    In the initial stages of the match, he struggled to find a way past the crowded Qatar defence as he led the Senegal attack. Dia was yellow-carded in the 30th minute after a challenge on Homam Ahmed.

    Finally, the forward scored his first goal of the tournament following a mistake by Boualem Khoukhi in the 41st minute. The Qatari defender fumbled when he attempted a clearance, giving Dia a chance to riffle the ball into the back of the net.

  • Ismailia Sarr

    Ismailia Sarr 7.5

    Did well to beat two defenders in the fourth minute, but his shot went out, although he thought he deserved a corner in the process. His effort struck the side netting after a deflection, but the referee did not spot it.

    Remained a sparkle down his wing, and his precise pass could have led to an opener in the eighth minute. After collecting Sarr’s cross, Dia was denied shooting as Qatar defenders closed in on him.

    Sarr was lucky not to concede a penalty in the 33rd minute after a challenge on Afif. The Senegalese made no contact with the ball and brought down Afif, but the referee did not listen to the Qatari pleas for a spot-kick.

  • Famara Diedhiou.

    Famara Diedhiou 8/10

    After being inconspicuous in the first half, the forward produced a classic header to extend Senegal’s lead.

    The wonderfully taken header in the 48th minute broke the hearts of the Qataris, who were at that moment very ambitiously looking for an equalizer.

  • Bamba Dieng

    Bamba Dieng 8/10

    He scored the third goal for Senegal in the 84th minute, which assured the Africans of their first win.

    Iliman Ndiaye was involved in a beautiful build-up as he pulled the ball back into the penalty area, where Dieng – who applied a first-time finish - was waiting.

  • Iliman Ndiaye

    Iliman Ndiaye 7.5/10

    The second-half substitute was involved in the buildup for the third goal. He was released on the right and did well to spot Bamba Dieng, who struck with a timely finish.

    With his introduction, Senegal looked even more stable and solid.

  • Pape Cisse

    Pape Cisse 7/10

    When he was introduced for Jakobs in the 77th minute, he ensured Senegal remained compact at the back and prevented Qatar from launching a comeback.