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Ecuador humiliated hosts Qatar in their opening match of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, defeating them lopsidedly in Al Bayt.


Ecuador humiliated hosts Qatar in their opening match of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, defeating them lopsidedly
Ecuador humiliated hosts Qatar in their opening match of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, defeating them lopsidedly

A jittery and jumbled performance resulted in a Group A loss for Felix Sanchez’s team, who had been practicing together in camp for the past six months to be ready for the competition and work on strategy.

This match appeared to be the simplest for Qatar to win on paper with the champions of the Africa Cup of Nations Senegal and three-time finalists the Netherlands to follow, but they were completely outplayed.

Enner Valencia’s close-range header was disallowed by the video assistant referee for offside during the game’s thrilling beginning, but the South Americans went on to score soon after.

Valencia was fouled in the box by the unstable goalie of Qatar, Saad Al Sheeb, and he stepped up to score the penalty kick.

Before halftime, Valencia powered in another header to quiet the Al Bayt Stadium, making matters worse for the home team.

Many fans who had left the stadium at the half did not come back, leaving it about half empty for the majority of the second half.

With Romario Ibarra’s curling attempt being blocked by Al-Sheeb, it contributed to a dull atmosphere on and off the field.

With 20 minutes left, the team’s star players Almoez Ali and captain Hassan Al Haydos were both replaced, but they were unable to generate a shot on goal.

Ecuador players celebrate Enner Valencia's (centre-right) goal against Qatar

Twelve years after being nominated as hosts, a football was eventually kicked in the World Cup of Qatar after much controversy and speculation.

After a day filled with genuine excitement for the opening ceremony, Qatar’s goal of being the first host nation to lose the first game of the competition turned into a nightmare.

The 2019 Asian champions presented no threat in the final third and failed to put Ecuador goalkeeper Hernan Galindez to the test once.

In 2010, South Africa was the only host nation that failed to advance past the group stage; nevertheless, with two challenging games remaining, Qatar may become the second.

Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group A – Qatar v Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, Qatar – November 20, 2022 Ecuador’s Enner Valencia scores their second goal REUTERS/Matthew Childs

While this is going on, Ecuador has put itself in a fantastic position to advance, extending its impressive recent form to one loss in 16 games and keeping a clean sheet in their previous seven games.

After 160 seconds, they had the ball in the net and were definitely the superior team, but VAR disallowed Valencia’s close-range header for offside.

There was some debate as to why the goal was disallowed, but Michael Estrada was in an offside position when Felix Torres first challenged the goalkeeper.

Ecuador dominated Qatar, whose goalie Al Sheeb was especially unsteady and fouled Valencia, who calmly converted the penalty.

Abdelkarim Hassan, a defender for Qatar, strode forward and fired their first shot in anger, but it was wildly missed. Qatar barely had a chance.

While Pedro Miguel headed wide in the second half, star player Ali, who scored nine goals in the Asian Cup victory, struggled to get into the game.

Akram Afif and substitute Mohammed Muntari both scored goals to end a disappointing opening evening for Qatar as the majority of the crowd had already left to go home.

Ali, the outstanding player who scored nine goals in the triumph at the Asian Cup, struggled to get into the game in the second half as Pedro Miguel headed wide.

A poor opening night for Qatar was ended by goals from Akram Afif and substitute Mohammed Muntari, who both scored after most of the audience had already left for home.