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The hosts eliminated the rise of Iran, an entertaining draw, and England slipped. Matchday six of the 2022 FIFA World Cup had it all as the first glimpses of teams qualifying for the Round of 16 started to emerge. The match saw two draws, while two games had results that will have a significant impact on the teams involved in them. 

In the first match of the day, Iran produced a brilliant performance and scored two goals in the final minutes against 10-men Wales. Then Senegal produced a scintillating display to knock hosts Qatar out of the World Cup. Meanwhile, the Netherlands were held to a draw by an Enner Valencia-inspired Ecuador, and England produced an insipid display to draw against the United States.

So, here is a recap of match day 6 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Winners- Iran against Wales, Senegal against Qatar, Ecuador against Netherlands 

Iran and Wales faced each other in the second match of group B. Iran were coming off a 6-2 thrashing by England, while Wales produced an impressive display to hold the United States to a draw. The Asians had the upper hand for most of the match but failed to break down their rivals. However, all that changed when Wayne Hennessey was sent-off after a high challenge on Mehdi Taremi. This came minutes after he had denied Saeid Ezatolahi with an impressive save. Wales still held on, but their resistance eventually withered in the eighth minute of injury time as Rouzbeh Cheshmi scored one of the best goals past Danny Ward. The team added another goal through Ramin Rezaeian to win the match.

Senegal also recovered well after losing their first match against the Netherlands by thrashing Qatar. Going into the game, both teams knew that anything less than a victory would vastly diminish their chances of qualification. The hosts started the game brilliantly, creating several chances and should have had a penalty, but referee Antonio Mateu waved it away. And it was Senegal who opened the scoring after a defensive mistake by Boualem Khoukhi allowed Boulaye Dia to open the scoring. The Lions of Teranga then added another goal through Famara Diedhiou. Qatar got a goal back from Mohammed Muntari. However, any chances of a comeback were snuffed out by Bamba Dieng in the 84th minute. 

Meanwhile, Ecuador produced a brilliant display to hold the Netherlands to a draw at the Khalifa International Stadium. The Dutch took the lead in the six minutes after a fierce shot by Ajax star Cody Gakpo that went past the hapless Hernan Galíndez in the Ecuadorian goal. However, the South Americans did not give up as they came back in the match through an Enner Valencia goal, the leading goal scorer with three strikes to his name. The result leaves Ecuador and Netherlands on top of the group with four points each, with Senegal behind with three points and Qatar with zero points.

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Player of the Match- Ramin Rezaeian, Edouard Mendy

What do you do after you have been left out in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup? Well, for Iranian right-back Ramin Rezaeian the answer is you put in your best display and score a goal to help your team win the match. Rouzbeh Cheshmi may have opened the scoring, but the defender kept his cool to calmly chip the ball over the goalkeeper to seal the victory. With a performance like that, he has cemented his post in the team and will play an integral role if they are to outshine an impressive United States team if they are to make it to the Round of 16. 

While Senegal may have put three past the Qataris, they were far from flawless. And it was their star goalkeeper Edouard Mendy kept them in the game, making two crucial saves when the score was 1-0 and 2-0, respectively. These saves kept Senegal in the game and frustrated the Qatari, which caused them to make mistakes on which Senegal pounced. 

Losers Highlights: Qatar and Wales face defeat

Wales started their World Cup campaign in style, earning a point against a strong United States side. However, all their work came undone against a resilient Iran side. Rob Page’s men were never in the game as they failed to find any rhythm. However, their defence kept them in the game until Wayne Hennessey decided to venture out of the box and take out Mehdi Taremi with a high challenge. This put Wales on the backfoot with a man down, and their resistance was finally broken in the eighth minute of the injury time, with Iran adding the second goal minutes later to all but confirm Wale’s exit from the tournament.

Meanwhile, despite an improved performance, Qatar were eliminated from the World Cup after losing to Senegal. In the process, they created an unwanted record by becoming the first host country to be eliminated after two match days. In addition, they are also the only hosts to lose back-to-back matches and have also been eliminated in the shortest time, i.e. six days after the World Cup started. And if they lose the last game, they will be the first host in the history of the World Cup to lose all three of their World Cup matches.  

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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