Mixed Emotions For Ward & Mendy In Qatar
- Danny Ward replaced Wayne Hennessey in late defeat to Iran
- Wales sit bottom of Group B heading into England fixture on Tuesday
- Papy Mendy started for Senegal in their win against Qatar
- With three points on the board, the Senegalese face Ecuador in final group stage match
Danny Ward made his first appearance of this FIFA World Cup on Friday morning when Wales fell to a late defeat to Iran in their second group stage match of the tournament.
What can only be described as a demoralising ending to the game for the Welsh, the Leicester 'keeper was placed under the spot light in the 87th minute when Wayne Hennessey was shown a straight red card, for bundling into Mehdi Taremi outside the box.
Wales face England in their final group stage match on Tuesday evening.
Replacing the sacrificed Aaron Ramsey, Ward received immediate pressure from the Iranians who finally broke the deadlock through Roozbeh Chesmi who scored with an impressive strike from range before Ramin Rezaeian sealed Wales' fate in the 11th minute of stoppage time, when Iran countered in numbers against the 10 men.
Just over an hour later, Leicester had a second Fox in play when Papy Mendy was named in the starting line-up for Senegal, who were aiming for their first points of the competition, against Qatar.
Despite seeing most of the ball, it took the Lions of Teranga until the 41st minute to find the opener, when Boulaye Dia pounced on a mistake from Boualem Khoukhi in the Qatar box, and fired into the bottom corner.
Minutes following the restart, Senegal took a two-goal lead. A corner, delivered by Ismail Jakobs was headed goalwards by Famara Diedhiou on the edge of the six-yard box, confirming the win for Mendy's side.
The Senegalese midfielder in World Cup action.
With it all to do, Qatar gave everything in the final 20 minutes of the match, and did make history by scoring their first-ever goal in the finals of FIFA's most prestigious tournament. A whipped in cross from Ismael Mohammed was headed in by the on-rushing Mohammed Muntari, but it would be nothing more than a consolation goal as Senegal scored a third, less than 10 minutes from time.
Ahmadou Bamba Dieng swept in a low cross from Sheffield Utd's Iliman Ndiaye, to settle the scoreline and any nerves for the African side, as the win for Mendy's Senegal sees the host nation of Qatar left at the bottom of the group.
The Foxes midfielder has the chance to play again, and take his country to the knockout stages, when Senegal take on Ecuador in their final group stage match of Group A on Tuesday 29 November (3pm kick-off).
Meanwhile, Ward may be given the nod to start against England on Tuesday 29 November (7pm kick-off), following Hennessey's suspension, as nothing less than a Wales win will give them the chance of qualifying from Group B.
All times GMT.
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