Enner Valencia scored twice as Ecuador defeated host nation Qatar 2-0, in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday, November 20, Newspremises reports.
This ended Qatar’s unbeaten run at the Al Bayt Stadium, winning the last three matches played at the Al Bayt Stadium. At the same time, it is also noteworthy that Ecuador has kept a clean sheet in the 7th consecutive match.
While winning the first match of the World Cup boosted Ecuador’s confidence, losing in front of their own fans in their first match of the first World Cup tournament hurt Qatar badly. Although Ecuador took the lead early in the match through captain Enner Valencia, but the goal was disallowed after the VAR check found offside.
Enner Valencia then converted a penalty for Ecuador in the 16th minute of the match to give Ecuador a 1-0 lead. Then, in the 31st minute of the game, Enner Valencia doubled Ecuador’s lead with a header from Preciado’s cross. Both teams continued to have many opportunities but neither could convert, and Ecuador maintained a 2-0 lead at the end of the first half.
In the second half, the both sides continued to create goal opportunities. But with Qatar unable to pull a single goal back at full-time, Ecuador cruised to a 2-0 victory at the final whistle of the match. With this, Qatar became the first host country to lose in the opening match of the World Cup. While that of Ecuador, this is the second time in the history of the World Cup that they have won the first match of the tournament.