Two first-half goals from Enner Valencia saw Ecuador earn its first win in the FIFA World Cup 2022 with host Qatar becoming the first host to lose its opener.
In a colosseum filled with rumbustious home support, Qatar – playing its first World Cup game ever – failed to draw alleviation from the suckers or the uproariousness of its precious history showcased during the opening act of Arabia’s magical literalism.
The host nation tried hard against Ecuador, but the lack of big- game experience and the individual brilliance of Premier League discard Enner Valencia handed it a 2- 0 loss – the first for a host on the opening day of the competition.
The 12- time weight of prospects proved too heavy a burden for these players, solely drawn from the less- competitive Qatar Super League, and goalkeeper Saad Al- Sheeb, with his nervous energy, did little to soothe his teammates ’ bombarded psyche.
He was saved beforehand on by yet another VAR decision after making a mess of stepping too far out in an attempt to clear a freekick in the third nanosecond. Valencia’s title from four yards was ruled out for offside.
The Ecuadorian, still, soon set up the lead for his platoon, captialising on yet another Al- Sheeb mistake. The goalkeeper, moving late off his line, brought down Valencia and the commander used his experience to stay for Al- Sheeb to commit to his dive before stroking the ball to the other side of the thing in the 16th nanosecond.
Qatar set up no way to claw its way back, and another thing followed just a nanosecond after the half- hour mark. Brighton’s Moises Caicedo’s one- two with Angelo Preciado brought in a measured cross into the box and Valencia was there to stretch his neck muscles like a giraffe reaching for the advanced branch and shoot in a downcast title past a late- replying Al- Sheeb.
Against the run of play, Almoez Ali – played in by a figure cross from Hassan Al- Haydos from the right – missed the chance to bring Qatar back into the game with the last touch of the first half.
With Ecuador showing no urgency to add to its census, the alternate half was a more restrained affair with Qatar trainer Felix Sanchez pushing his fullbacks up to fight the surging runs of the opposition wingbacks. Mohammed Muntari, running and bringing down a long pass from defence, saw his shot rattle the roof of the net with nine twinkles left to play – the closest Qatar came to a first World Cup thing, finishing the game with zero sweats on target.
Enner Valencia scored doubly in the first- half to give Ecuador a 2- 0 at the break against Qatar in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khol. Valencia broke the impasse in the 16th nanosecond after converting a penalty which he’d won. The 33- time-old also made it 2- 0 at the half- hour- mark, heading home Angelo Preciado’s cross. Valencia, who had a thing disallowed inside the first three twinkles, is the oldest player to score a thing in the opening game of a World Cup. Ecuador are at the 44th spot in the FIFA rankings while hosts Qatar are at the 50th spot. Know More FIFA News…
Qatar XI: Saad, Pedro, Bassam, Khoukhi, Abdelkarim, Homam, Al-Haydos, Karim, Aziz, Afif, Almoez.
Ecuador XI: Galindez, Preciado, Torres, Hincapie, Estupinan, Plata, Mendez, Caicedo, Ibarra, Valencia, Estrada.