DOHA: The 2022 World Cup started with a record created when Qatar became the first host to lose in the opening action after succumbing 0-2 to Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium, just now.
Enner Valencia’s two goals were enough for Ecuador to open their Group A campaign perfectly, giving Qatar a bad start.
In the tournament’s 92-year history, 16 home teams have won their first match, while six of them have drawn.
Despite playing in front of thousands of cheering home fans, Ecuador showed composure, even controlling the game completely.
The pairing of Brighton stars, Moises Caicedo and Pervis Estupinan became the main heart of the squad coached by Gustavo Alfaro.
For Qatar, coached by Felix Sanchez, they started their debut on the prestigious stage badly, especially conceding as early as the third minute thanks to Valencia’s header.
The hosts, however, were saved by the video assistant referee (VAR) when Estupinan’s corner kick was disallowed for offside, sparking the first controversy at Qatar 2022.
However, Ecuador did not wait long to be in front when in the 16th minute, Qatar’s nervous goalkeeper, Saad Al-Sheeb brought down Valencia to award a penalty kick to the opponent.
The former West Ham and Everton striker took the spot-kick with confidence, before doubling the lead in the 31st minute after heading home Angelo Preciado’s cross.
The hosts’ best chance in the first half came through their star striker, Almoez Ali, but he failed to finish Hassan Al Haydos’ cross.
Entering the second half, the home team came out with a more structured game, but the Asian champions who received strong support from 60,000 spectators failed to penetrate the opponent’s goal.
The Qatar-Ecuador clash officially opens the 22nd edition of the World Cup. – AGENCIES
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