Qatar eliminated after Netherlands and Ecuador draw

RAUL ARBOLEDA/ AFP

Qatar became the first team to be eliminated from the World Cup on Friday after Group A rivals the Netherlands and Ecuador drew 1-1.

Ecuador's "Superman" captain Enner Valencia led a feisty fightback on Friday to earn the South Americans a deserved draw.

The result keeps both teams in pole position for reaching the last 16 while ending Qatar's chances of qualifying.

Valencia, 33, tapped in his third goal of the tournament from a rebound in the second half after Cody Gakpo had put the Dutch ahead in the sixth minute with a sizzling shot in a result that advanced both sides to four points.

Hosts Qatar lost their second successive game at their debut World Cup earlier on Friday to Senegal.

The African champions are third in Group A with Ecuador to come in Tuesday's final group games.

Ecuador had a subdued first half as Louis van Gaal's side looked comfortable but unhurried. But the South Americans, roared on by a large yellow-clad contingent at the Khalifa International Stadium, stepped up a gear in the second half and could have won it when Gonzalo Plata's strike hit the crossbar.

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