Los Angeles FC players Gareth Bale, Kellyn Acosta, Sebas Mendez, Jose Cifuentes, and Diego Palacios are leaving the Qatar World Cup as their national teams Ecuador, Wales, and the United States are out. 


Last Friday, it was the end of the group stage as 16 teams were knocked out. Out of the sixteen teams, Ecuador and Wales were out on Tuesday, November 29. Although the Star and Stripes made it to the last 16, they failed to defeat the Netherlands on Saturday, December 3. 


Let’s look at their national team’s performance and see if they played their last matches of the Qatar World Cup. 


Senegal Knocks Ecuador Out


Ecuador is out of the World Cup as Senegal beats La Tri by 2-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium. After good performances against Qatar and Netherlands, football fans expected an Ecuador victory. 


After Senegal’s loss to the Netherlands, they responded with a win against the host.  They needed a win, while Ecuador needed a draw or win to qualify. Senegal played well the whole first half causing loads of problems on the flanks. Despite losing Sadio Mane, they managed to get shots but failed to score. Meanwhile, Ecuador could not cope with Senegal’s attack and struggle.


Before Halftime, Senegal received a penalty after Ismaila Sarr knocked it on with a clever first touch, and Piero Hincapie crashed into him with a late tackle. Sarr got Senegal the lead giving Ecuador issues.


In the second half, Ecuador began to respond and slowly was causing problems. After gaining confidence, Moises Caicedo equalized thanks to a great delivery from Gonzalo Plata on the corner. Felix Torres raised the highest to flick it on in the center of the crowded box. Caicedo was unmarked and scored the goal that gave La Tri hope.


But that hope was gone when Kalidou Koulibaly fired a wonderful volley. The game ended with a 2-1 win to Senegal. LAFC Jose Cifuentes came on in the second half and had one shot on goal. He tried to give his all but failed to make a difference. Diego Palacios did not play a single World Cup game for La Tri, while Sebas Mendez was suspended for receiving two cards in the last two games.


Senegal finished second in group A and will face England in the round of 16 on Sunday, December 4. 


England cruises past Wales 


Wales did not start the World Cup well, losing to England 3-0 in their final group-stage match. After drawing 1-1 with the United States and losing to Iran 2-0, they wanted to end the match with a win. Although they were mathematically out, a miracle would get them through the knockout rounds.


But England was too much for Wales as Marcus Rashford notched two superb goals and Phil Foden with one goal. Wales talisman Gareth Bale had to come off in the second half due to injury. Their performance remained average the entire game and did not cause England any problems. 


Wales ended the World Cup at the bottom of group B with one point. Bale was the only player to score a goal which was a penalty against the United States. Despite Wales not having the start they would have wished for, Bale and his co experienced a great moment playing for their nation in the biggest stage. 


The Netherlands outpowered the United States


 The Netherlands ended the U.S.A World Cup losing campaign with the result 3-1 at the Khalifa International Stadium. 


Holland had the game in control despite the USA performing well. Christian Pulisic’s shot was denied by goalkeeper Andries Noppert. After the save, Memphis Depay took Holland the lead. The Netherlands continued to dominate from the midfield exposing the U.S. defense.  


Before halftime, the U.S.A. defensively lacked awareness. Therefore, they conceded the second goal when Daley Blind slotted the ball into the bottom corner.  


Holland gifted Haji Wright a chance to get the United States but he took a heavy touch inside the box. A minute later, Wright got his chance and slotted it home. But his goal wasn’t enough as Denzel Dumfries restored his side’s two-goal lead moments later. Kellyn Acosta did not come on to rescue his team. He played a total of 40 minutes when he came on versus Wales and Iran. 


The United States left the competition with its head held high. In four years, they will have a team ready to compete against former champions when they host the World Cup along with Mexico and Canada. 


 The last few days were not great for Bale, Acosta, Palacios, Mendez, and Cifuentes as their national teams left early. Some started, while others were suspended, injured, or on the bench. But they never forget the moment playing in the World Cup. 


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