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Senegal dominate possession, lead Qatar after one half

Boulaye Dia Senegal Boulaye Dia - The Canadian Press

Senegal peppered Qatar with scoring chances and finally converted in the 41st minute when Boulaye Dia gave the African Cup champions a 1-0 lead over the host nation. 

Dia gave Senegal their first lead of the tournament when he cleaned up a sloppy turnover by Qatar's Boualem Khoukhi in the crease and quickly buried the shot in the corner of the net. 

A couple great passes led Qatar's Akram Hassan Afif Yahya Afif alone in the box in the 35th minute, and he slowed up enough to take a tackle from behind. But to the dismay of the host side, the referee did not blow a whistle for a penalty kick. 

Senegal pushed downfield quickly after the penalty was not called, and their counter attack produced a beautiful opportunity for Ismaila Sarr, who was unable to put the try on net. 

The Senegalese attack held steady throughout the first 30 minutes of the game, and a major opportunity arose when Senegal keeper Edouard Mendy found Sarr at the egde of the Qatari crease - Qatar's goaltender Meshaal Aissa Barsham came out of position to field and nearly conceded a goal when Sarr got to the ball first. 

Disaster almost struck for Qatar in the 16th minute as Barsham came forward to defend a corner kick from Senegal but missed it, leaving an open opportunity for a trailing attacker that he could not get a foot on to redirect, and the ball bounced innocently out. 

The first 10 minutes afforded Qatar and Senegal time to settle in to the action, as neither side were able to generate any meaningful opportunities. Both teams suffered defeats in their opening matches of the tournament.