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Thursday, February 2, 2023

2022 FIFA World Cup: Ecuador beat hosts Qatar 2-0 in opening match (video)

Hosts Qatar were humiliated by Ecuador in a thumping defeat at Al Bayt in the opening match of the 2022 FIFA World cup.

Qatar became the first host nation of the World Cup to ever lose its opening game at the tournament as it was beaten 2-0 by Ecuador on Sunday.

Enner Valencia with the two goals, and he had another ruled out by VAR for offside. Hosts never really in the match, not at all the performance they were looking for on their World Cup debut.

Valencia then added his and Ecuador’s second with a fine header in the 31st minute to complete the scoring. 

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Ecuador eased past World Cup debutants Qatar 2-0 with two goals from veteran striker Enner Valencia in a first opening game defeat for a host nation in the tournament’s history.

Ecuador’s all-time top scorer scored an early penalty and added a well-taken 31st-minute header to give the South Americans a commanding first-half lead as the Qataris looked overcome by the enormity of the occasion.

It could have been even worse for the hosts in front of a 67,372 crowd at the tent-shaped Al Bayt stadium had Valencia, 33, not had a third minute header disallowed for a marginal offside after goalkeeper Saad Alsheeb had flapped at the ball.

It was Alsheeb who later tripped Valencia when he was through on goal and then dived the wrong way as the Ecuadorean coolly dispatched the resulting penalty in the 16th minute.

 

For his second, Valencia was unmarked but still showed great technique to stoop and take Angelo Preciado’s cross almost from behind him to head past Alsheeb again.

That goal killed the Group A game as a contest and the second half was played at a slow pace, with the stands rapidly emptying.

Watch the video of the match below;

Hosts disappointing on debut

Qatar’s squad have been together for a long time preparing for this tournament, a huge moment for them. Maybe the occasion got to them, they didn’t offer much of a threat at all.

Still waiting for their first World Cup goal… in fact they’re still waiting for their first World Cup shot on target. Plenty of improvement needed in forward areas.

What’s next?

Hosts Qatar will be playing against Senegal on Friday 25 November at 14:00, while Ecuador will face the Netherlands on the same at 17:00.

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