FIFA World Cup 2022: Enner Valencia Strikes Brace as Ecuador Beats Qatar 2-0
FIFA World Cup 2022: Two first-half goals helped Ecuador secure a comfortable victory against hosts Qatar.
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Ecuador comprehensively defeated Qatar 2-0 in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022, at the Al Bayt Stadium here on Sunday, 20 November.
From the first moments Qatar made a disappointing start to their World Cup campaign and became the first hosts country to lose their opening game.
Coach Felix Sanchez-led team went into the first-half break two goals down as Enner Valencia netted first from the penalty spot and then with a header to put Ecuador in complete control.
There was to be no miraculous comeback at the Al Bayt Stadium, nor was there any sign of remarkable football by the hosts. Qatar's hopes of making it out of Group A now rely on them getting results against Senegal and the Netherlands.
Qatar's debut began in inauspicious fashion, as Ecuador had the ball in their net inside three minutes. Enner Valencia thought he had put Ecuador in front in the fourth minute with a header from close range after Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb was caught out of position.
However, after a lengthy review from the VAR team, Valencia's goal was ruled out, much to the bemusement of Ecuador's players.
Fans were also left puzzled as no explanation was given at the time but a subsequent replay showed that Michael Estrada's foot and knee was marginally offside during the build up.
The first-half break did not bring a marked change in Qatar's fortunes, with Ecuador still carrying a real threat after the restart. However, Qatar managed to save all the threats from the charged up Valencia and Co.
Netherlands To Face Senegal in Next Group A Encounter
With this victory, Ecuador are now leading the charts in Group A. In the next match of this group, the Netherlands will be up against Senegal. This fixture will be played at Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium on Monday, 21 November.
Both sides will be eager to start their campaign on a positive note, as Netherlands and Senegal will cross paths for the first time.
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