The 2022 FIFA World Cup is upon us as the action gets started with the group stage on November 20 in Qatar. The tournament runs until December 18, which is when the final match will be played at Lusail Iconic Stadium to determine who will be crowned the 2022 World Cup champions. Ahead of the tournament, let’s take a look at the host country Qatar’s national team and their history in the World Cup.
The Qatar national football team has never qualified for a World Cup tournament, so they’ll be making their first appearance in 2022 with an automatic qualification as the host country. They’ve consistently competed in World Cup qualification cycles, but since the AFC only gets four qualification spots and one inter-confederation playoff spot, Qatar has never been able to finish high enough to qualify for one of those berths.
They’re a regular contender in the AFC Asian Cup, though, and won their first Asian Cup title in 2019 after essentially dominating the tournament. They won all seven of their games through the group stage and knockouts, and only allowed one goal while they scored 19 along the way. Qatar defeated Japan 3-1 in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup final to take home their first-ever trophy from the tournament.
For the 2022 World Cup, they were drawn into Group A along with Ecuador, Senegal, and Netherlands, and will look to make a splash in their World Cup debut. They’ll open the tournament with a match against Ecuador on November 20 at 11 a.m. ET, followed by a meeting with Senegal on November 25 at 8 a.m. Their group stage will come to a close against the group favorites, the Netherlands, on November 29 with kickoff at 10 a.m. ET.