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Qatar in earliest host exit in World Cup history

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Qatar became the first team eliminated at the 2022 World Cup after suffering defeats in their opening two fixtures, the earliest exit by a host nation in the tournament’s 92-year history.

Qatar, who were controversially awarded the hosting rights in 2010, became the first host country to lose the opening game of the tournament when they were beaten 2-0 by Ecuador on Sunday before losing 3-1 to Senegal on Friday.

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Their hopes of advancing to the knockout stages were ended on later on Friday when Netherlands draw 1-1 to Ecuador.

Qatar face an uphill task of achieving a win in their final group game as they face Netherlands on Friday, with the European nation needing a win to guarantee qualification to the round of 16.

South Africa (2010) are the only other host team to be eliminated in the group stage, although the African side at least went out with a win and a draw from their three games.

The tiny Gulf nation spent around $220 billion on the first World Cup in the Middle East, according to estimates, but has found that great wealth can’t buy a world-class football team.

Qatar had never qualified for the game’s biggest tournament before winning the right to host it 12 years ago. Every squad member for the 2019 Asian champion plays for a local club.

Information from Associated Press contributed to this report.



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