Los Angeles Times

GROUP A: QATAR VS. SENEGAL

- — Kevin Baxter

Where: Al Thumama Stadium

Time: 5 a.m. PST Friday

TV: FS1, Telemundo, Peacock Premium

The buzz: Qatar (0-1) didn’t put a shot on goal in its 2-0 loss to Ecuador, becoming the first host to fall in the opening game of a World Cup. Senegal (0-1) also started with a 2-0 loss but the Lions, playing without talisman Sadio Mane, were in the game until the end since the two Dutch goals came after the 83rd minute. To have a realistic shot of advancing out of group play, a victory here would be helpful for either team. Qatar was rarely dangerous in its first game. We’ll learn Friday whether Qatar is that bad or Ecuador is that good, but in any case Qatari coach Félix Sánchez has promised his team will be better. Senegal, meanwhile, outshot the Netherland­s in its opener but couldn’t finish. That’s where it will have to improve.

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