Friday, May 24

Hosts Qatar goes down to Ecuador in inaugural match

By a Staff Reporter

Agency – The Qatari football fans at Al Bayt Stadium burst into tears as the hosts went 2-0 down to Ecuador in an inaugural match of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

AL KHOR, QATAR – NOVEMBER 20: Enner Valencia (C) of Ecuador celebrates after scoring their team’s second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022, in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Shaun Botterill – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Ecuador, who were aggressive since the kick-off found the net early in the 3rd minute of the match. Skipper Enner Valencia headed the ball into the back of the net, which got ruled out for offside.

With the continuous attack in the opposition’s third, Ecuador took a lead in the 16th minute. Qatar’s custodian Al Sheeb brought Valencia down to gift Ecuador with a penalty, who then made no mistake from the spot.

Ecuador’s all-time highest goal scorer Valencia, with a perfect header in the 31st minute doubled the visitor’s lead before going into the interval.

The injury forced the 33-years old Valencia out of the field in the 76th minute, after he scored his 36th and 37th international goal. Jose Cifuentes then replaced the skipper.

Félix Sánchez’s side failed to capitalize on the multiple chances received which cost them a match. The defeat means Qatar becomes the first host nation to lose the opening match in the history of FIFA World Cup.

With a win, Ecuador tops Group A consisting of Netherlands, Senegal, and hosts Qatar.

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