It was a listless performance on the pitch after years of scrutiny off the pitch that opened the most controversial World Cup ever. Ecuador won Sunday’s match despite trying a different strategy for building a team. The first-ever World Cup match between Qatar and an overmatched team ended in dismay for both teams. 67,372 fans watched Qatar lose 2-0 to Ecuador in the opener of the controversy-laced tournament. There had never been a loss by a host team in the first 92 years of soccer’s biggest game. This is Qatar’s first chance to showcase its country to the world as part of the first World Cup in the Middle East.
Ecuador captain Enner Valencia scored both goals in the first half as the country’s soccer team, playing at this level for the first time, could not live up to the moment. Morgan Freeman, who won the Oscar for the best actor award, hosted a colourful opening ceremony that included dignitaries, including Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, and many other patriotic leaders who emphasized the importance of unity and humanity.”
Enner Valencia scored two unanswered goals on a penalty kick and a header to lead Ecuador to a 2-0 victory over Qatar in its first-ever World Cup match. Three minutes into the game, referees called back Ecuador’s Valencia’s header after Pervis Estupinan’s long-range free-kick attempt from half-field rippled the mesh. A video assistant referee ultimately disallowed the goal.
There is a triumph in Ecuador and a failure in Qatar.
Later in the match, Valencia scored on a penalty shot past Qatari goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb. His second goal came shortly before the end of the first half when he headed in a cross outside the box. Qatar dominated the second half in terms of possession. Despite all the momentum the home team had accumulated throughout the match, they still failed to capitalize on it, as none of their five shots on target during the game could be converted into goals.
Their first pass out from the back went astray in the opening seconds, and they looked nervous, lost, toothless, and out of sync from the get-go. In September, Qatar’s under-23s were beaten 3-0 by Croatia’s under-23s in their only competitive match of the year. This was an excellent start for Ecuador. The South American team was more direct, decisive, and in possession for a more significant time. Alfaro’s squad comprises players from 11 leagues across three continents, unlike his opponents from the Qatari league. Their cohesiveness was evident. Valencia said ”It’s been a long dream of mine to win this opening game,” In the second half, Qatar looked more comfortable than the first, while Ecuador was never troubled by them. It was a dream come true for me to score and help my team win the game.” The team scored two quick goals that helped us take control of the game and earn a three-point victory. We believe we can go very far and perform exceptionally well soon.” Indeed, they probably hoped to conserve themselves for the even more challenging assignment against the Netherlands on Friday.
Such small gains could prove crucial as the tournament progresses, particularly in hot conditions and when most players are in the middle of their domestic seasons. Qatar does not have such a luxury and will not be able to use it as an excuse in the future. This team has been preparing together for much longer than any other squad in their league since the league season ended two months ago. The Qatari team’s World Cup might as well be over within a week after 12 years of waiting, as the tournament has been delayed for 12 years. Sometimes it’s reassuring to know that some things are not yet available for purchase. It’s not really about them in some cases, but it isn’t about them in others.
Ecuador beats Qatar 2-0 in its World Cup opening
Ecuador won its opening match 2-0 over host Qatar thanks to Enner Valencia’s two early goals. A Valencia penalty kick and the 31st minute by a Valencia header marked the 16th minute. Another goal was disallowed in the third minute when an Ecuador player was ruled offside. The first match Qatar played in the World Cup was a massive disappointment for the country. The hosts started rough play early to gain and maintain the ball. After the closing whistle, fans reportedly fled in droves. World Cup host Qatar lost its opening match for the first time. 84% of teams that have advanced to the knockout round since 1998 have won their first World Cup game.
Qatar Squad: Saad, Pedro, Bassam, Khoukhi, Abdelkarim, Homam, Al-Haydos, Karim, Aziz, Afif, Almoez.
Ecuador Squad: Galindez, Preciado, Torres, Hincapie, Estupinan, Plata, Mendez, Caicedo, Ibarra, Valencia, Estrada.
Ecuador beat Qatar 2-0 in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khol, thanks to two goals by Enner Valencia in the first half. After winning a penalty, Valencia converted it in the 16th minute to break the deadlock. At half-time, the 33-year-old headed home with Angelo Preciado’s cross to make it 2-0. Valencia, the oldest player to score a goal in a World Cup opening match, had a goal disallowed within the first three minutes. The FIFA rankings place Ecuador at 44th, while Qatar is at 50th.