AL RAJYAN, Qatar — With protests engulfing Iran at the World Cup, its national team came late to claim its first victory of the tournament in Qatar.

Rouzbe Cesmi scored in the eighth minute of second-half stoppage time to break the deadlock and Iran beat Wales 2-0 on Friday.

The team’s goal celebration differed from the scene outside the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, where pro-government fans chased anti-government supporters of the national team.

Iran’s victory followed a disastrous 6-2 defeat by England in their opener in Qatar, with the players dogged by questions about unrest in Iran.

“I believe that thanks to the solidarity between the team members we were able to achieve this result,” Cesmi said afterwards through a translator.

His shot from outside the box was beyond the reach of Wales back-up goalkeeper Danny Ward, who was forced into action when starter Wayne Hennessey was sent off in the 86th minute for a hard tackle on Mehdi Toremi.

Moments later, Ramin Rezaian scored the second goal and Iran celebrated wildly – throwing coach Carlos Queiroz into the air – as the Welsh players fell to the pitch in disbelief.

Group A

Netherlands 1, Ecuador 1

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Ecuador forward Ener Valencia scored the third goal against the Netherlands to send host nation Qatar out of the tournament.

The draw gave the Dutch and Ecuador a point each, giving them four points in Group A. Qatar left with zero points after a 3-1 defeat by Senegal hours earlier.

Ecuador dominated most of the game after Cody Gakpo put the Dutch ahead in the sixth minute with a shot from the edge of the box. It was the fastest goal scored in Qatar.

Ecuador equalized in the 49th minute when Valencia headed the ball into an empty net after Pervis Estupignan’s shot was saved by goalkeeper Andres Noppert

Valencia’s third goal in Qatar — after he scored both in Sunday’s 2-0 win over the host nation — extended his run to having scored all six of Ecuador’s World Cup goals since the start of the 2014 tournament.

Senegal 3, Qatar 1

DOHA, Qatar — The show is already over for Team Qatar, which crashed out of the World Cup on Friday, less than a week after opening the tournament and launching the first edition of the Middle East’s biggest soccer event.

Qatar lost to Senegal for their second successive World Cup defeat and their exit was confirmed hours later when the Netherlands and Ecuador drew 1-1 in the other Group A game.

Qatar became the fastest host nation to be eliminated from the tournament in the 92-year history of the World Cup and cannot progress to the last 16, whatever happens in their last game against the Netherlands.

South Africa were the only home team to fail to make it past the group stage in 2010, but they did at least get a win and a draw.

“If you expected us to go very far in this tournament, then it will be disappointing,” Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said before his side were officially eliminated. “Our goal was to be competitive.”

The writing was on the wall from the start for Qatar. The team could be crowned Asian champions in 2019 but looked nervous and dejected in a 2-0 defeat to Ecuador last weekend straight after a glittering opening ceremony hosted by the wealthy Gulf emirate and meant to showcase it to the world.

Qatar’s performance on Friday was a bit but not much better for a team that plays in the domestic league and lacks the talent present in almost every World Cup team now.

This time, Qatar at least scored in the second half with a header from Ghanaian-born Mohamed Muntari, a striker who was born outside Qatar but was brought in to boost their World Cup chances. At 2-1, Qatar threatened to pull one back against the African champions for just six minutes before Bamba Dieng responded by scoring Senegal’s third goal to restore their two-goal cushion.

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