Shoppers and diners witness the fall of Qatar at Mall of Qatar

© Paul Myers/RFI

At the patriotically titled Mall of Qatar, the fate of the national football team was digested on Tuesday night along with French fries, burgers, buns, pizzas and a mouthwatering array of other international delicacies.

Partisans mingled with England and Wales fans stocking up for their game at the nearby Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium at the score of outlets harboured around four giant screens in the atrium of the food hall.

As the neutrals and locals feasted 20 kilometres to the west of central Doha, the Netherlands began tucking into Qatar's soft underbelly nearly 50km further north.

Games against Ecuador on 20 November and Senegal five days later had exposed it. The Netherlands needed to feed from it one more time to sustain themselves.

Qatar, playing at their first World Cup, went into their final match of Group A already eliminated from their tournament.

Stakes

Felix Sanchez's men could, at best, derail the Netherlands’ attempt to reach the latter stages with a thumping win which would allow Senegal and Ecuador to advance if they played out a draw in their tie at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Permutations of such fantasy were skewered mid way through the first-half when Cody Gakpo notched up his second goal of the tournament to give the Netherlands the lead.

Full control was seized just after half-time. Frenkie De Jong stabbed home after the Qatar goalkeeper Meshaal Aissa Barsham saved an effort from Memphis Depay.

Revamp


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