Qatar 1-3 Senegal
Qatar became the only Asian team still without a point to their name after Iran’s victory earlier in the same day over Wales. Qatar’s opponents Senegal were in the same boat as Qatar, looking for a revival after failing to register any points or goals. Senegal made better use of the ball in the opening minutes of the match, but 40 minutes in, Boulaye Dia punished the Qatar defence by striking an intercepted ball into the back of the net.
Qatar started the second half still unable to keep the ball or organise effective movements. Senegal took advantage and Ismail Jakobs pinpointed Farmara Diedhiou from a corner kick for the latter to head an unstoppable ball into the net in the 48th minute, extending Senegal’s lead and finally shaking the hosts awake.
Qatar’s performance took a turn to the better at the same time Senegal seemed content to retreat into their own half. The result was an attacking surge that saw Ismaeel Mohammad’s cross meet a towering header from Mohammed Muntari, leaving Edouard Mendy standing still. The home crowd erupted in celebration.
Six minutes later, intent on ensuring full points, Iliman Ndiaye set up Ahmedou Bamba to finish off the hosts’ chances of qualification, rendering Qatar’s match with the Netherlands merely a matter of pride for the tournament hosts. The victory for Senegal means they must defeat Ecuador in MD3 to qualify.
Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador
The Netherlands started MD2 match against Ecuador with almost the same lineup that saw them defeat Senegal 2-0. One exception was Davy Klassen, who started the first match on the bench for the Duth. This time he rewarded his manager’s faith by setting up Cody Gakpo to send a screamer into the net only 5 minutes into the match.
The early lead allowed Netherlands to sit back as Ecuador mounted counterattacks looking for the leveler.Brighton wingback Pervis Estupinan finally initiated the comeback with a late first-half goal, but it was ultimately disallowed for offside.
Ecuador’s relentless attacks did not stop in the second half, and four minutes into play Enner Valencia scored his third of the tournament when he tapped in a saved attempt. Ecuador nearly completed the comeback 10 minutes later, but the post denied Gonzalo Plata. Both teams had a few decent attempts but they settled for a 1-1 draw which sealed Qatar’s fate as the first team to be dropped from the tournament.
Wales 0-2 Iran
Wales and Iran kicked off MD2 with hopes of strengthening their chances of qualification before their final group stage matches. Other than a couple of dangerous attempts from Wales, Iran controlled most of the tempo, even hitting both the right and left posts within the same attacking movement.
All you really need to see from this match is the last 15 minutes, from minute 85 until 100. Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey was sent off for trucking Mehdi Taremi in an attempt at clearing the ball. Hennessey was initially cautioned, but the yellow was changed to red after VAR review showed that the GK had denied Taremi a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
Fast-forward to minute 98, when Iranian substitute Roozbeh Chesmi tried his luck with a shot from outside the box, sending the ball through the Welsh defenses and into the bottom corner of the net.
Wales tried to respond and save the match with 10 players, but a Mehdi Taremi interception opened up space for a quick counter. He sent a comfortable pass to Ramin Rezaeian, who lobbed over the backup goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
England 0-0 USA
MD2 in the World Cup is the real test of any team's chances to go deep into the knockout stages. Since England is in no way a mediocre or weak team, the cautious tactics it adopted against USA for the most of the match could be criticized as unnecessary — or even risky.
The English players are surely hungry to score, but seem shackled by Southgate’s tactical instructions. This allowed the USA to create chaos, and the Americans had many chances to break the 0-0 deadlock.
The second half was no different, with USA getting even closer to scoring the first goal. Southgate’s tactical substitutions in the 66th minute did reduce the American pressure, and American goalkeeper Matt Turner began to see more of the ball. Both teams continue to try to nick the three points in the remaining time, but when the referee sounded the final whistle the game ended in a scoreless draw.