Qatar lost to Senegal 1-3 to make an early exit from the FIFA World Cup 2022, while Iran scored two stoppage-time goals to beat Wales Friday and keep their last-16 chances alive.
Qatar needed to bounce back at Al Thumama Stadium after their loss to Ecuador in the tournament opener, but the Al Annabi went down to Senegal despite fighting back in the second half.
Mohamed Muntari became the first-ever Qatar player to score at the World Cup but that wasn’t enough to stop them from becoming 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 champions Senegal the win.
"We would like to say we're very sorry to the supporters, to the country," said Qatar defender Tarek Salman, who was a second-half substitute. "We have made them feel bad about losing two games in a row in the World Cup."
Qatar take on the Netherlands in the final group game at the Al Bayt Stadium on November 29.
* THRILLING VICTORY FOR IRAN
Earlier at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Iran scored a thrilling last-gasp win over Wales. The Iranians were worthy winners against a team reduced to 10 men late in the match. Iran, who would have been eliminated if they had lost, punished Gareth Bale's Wales in the eighth minute of injury time when substitute Rouzbeh Cheshmi smashed home.
The Iranians sent their thousands of fans at stadium wild when Ramin Rezaeian clipped in a second goal on the counter-attack. There were emotional scenes as Iran's players and staff, including their Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz, embraced on the pitch and took in the acclaim of their supporters.
Mehdi Taremi, the team's star striker, paid tribute to Iran's fans. "Thank you to our supporters, they helped us all the time," said Taremi, who was cut down by Wayne Hennessey when the goalkeeper came haring out of his goal.
Hennessey was sent off in the 86th minute, earning the first red card of the World Cup following a VAR review. "We need those supporters to support us like always," added Taremi, whose side will reach the last 16 if they win against the United States on Tuesday.
* ECUADOR, NETHERLANDS IN 1-1 DRAW
Ecuador's "Superman" captain Enner Valencia led a feisty fightback Friday as the South Americans drew 1-1 with the Netherlands in Group A to keep both teams in the running for the last 16 while ending hosts Qatar's chances of qualifying.
Valencia, 33, tapped in his third goal of the tournament from a rebound in the second half after Cody Gakpo had put the Dutch ahead in the sixth minute with a sizzling shot in a result that advanced both sides to four points.
The Dutch will qualify for the last 16 by avoiding defeat to Qatar. Senegal must beat Ecuador to advance to the knockout phase from Group A.
* ENGLAND, USA IN GOALLESS STALEMATE
In a late night match at Al Bayt Stadium, England were held to a frustrating goalless draw by the USA. A victory in the Group B clash would have secured England a place in the last 16. A youthful USA side outplayed England but were left to rue a flurry of missed chances and poor finishing in both halves after having to settle for a 0-0 draw.
Iran's players celebrate after scoring the opening goal against Wales Friday.