Ecuador opened the World Cup with a win against the hosts Qatar | Rare Techy


The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar opened its long-awaited schedule on Sunday against Group A counterpart Ecuador, but it was the CONMEBOL representatives who got the last laugh at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Enner Valencia scored twice in the first half as Ecuador beat Qatar 2-0 to win the opening day of the competition. Despite VAR ruling out the third minute for Ecuador, the Fenerbahçe striker scored 15 minutes from time to help Ecuador secure the crucial three points.

Valencia thought they had put Ecuador 1-0 up after Saad Al-Sheeb’s foul in the third minute, but VAR ruled the goal out for offside. It didn’t look like Valencia were in an offsides position before Al-Sheeb broke through in the box, but the goal was ruled out for Gustavo Alfaro’s side.

However, Ecuador would take the lead in the first half in the 16th minute as Valencia stepped up and sent Al-Sheeb the wrong way from the penalty spot. Al-Sheeb was again at fault for Qatar, beating the veteran forward in a one-on-one situation.

Ecuador would double their lead in the 31st minute as Angelo Preciado’s cross from the right wing was headed in by Valencia for his 37th career international goal. Valencia’s powerful goal hit the bottom-left corner, putting Qatar under more pressure in front of their supporters.

Almoez Ali missed a golden opportunity to cut Qatar’s deficit in half in first-half stoppage time, heading home Hernan Galiandez.

Despite increased pressure from Qatar in the second half, Galiandez was rarely troubled, finishing with zero saves. Ecuador will face Qatar and Senegal on Friday with the Netherlands.


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