A day of celebration and promise shortly turned bitter for Qatar within the opening match of the 2022 World Cup.
Ecuador scored early to place this one out of attain, cruising to a 2-0 win over the host nation on Sunday.
Enner Valencia scored each targets for Ecuador, whereas goalkeeper Hernán Galíndez posted a clear sheet. Qatar didn’t have any photographs on aim in its 5 makes an attempt.
The sport started with fast controversy, when Valencia appeared to attain within the third minute on a header. After VAR evaluate, an offside ruling was made and the aim was disallowed.
Moments later, Valencia bought one other probability. Qatar goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb fouled Valencia because the ahead attacked the web, tripping Valencia along with his arm whereas going for the ball.
That led to a penalty kick, which Valencia calmly despatched into the again of the web within the sixteenth minute for the primary aim of the match.
Ecuador continued to dominate the time of possession battle by the center phases of the primary half. It had a number of alternatives to increase the lead earlier than lastly doing so within the thirty first minute.
Defender Ángelo Preciado fired a right-footed cross into the field, the place Valencia was left free and headed in his second aim.
Qatar’s best scoring probability got here within the last seconds of stoppage time within the first half. Almoez Ali had an opportunity to knock in a header, however missed vast earlier than the whistle blew to finish the half.
The second half was performed at a a lot slower tempo, with neither crew producing momentum for scoring alternatives within the first quarter-hour.
Qatar had the primary probability within the 62nd minute, however Pedro Miguel missed vast left on a header to maintain the deficit at 2-0.
The sport continued its staggered play with a number of damage stoppages, yellow playing cards and substitutions within the second half. There have been six yellow playing cards within the match – 4 for Qatar, two for Ecuador.
The host nation had one last probability to attain within the 86th minute. Mohammed Muntari bought behind the protection and shot it along with his proper foot from 25 yards out, however the ball landed on the roof of the web.
Qatar is now going through an uphill climb to emerge out of Group A, which additionally contains the Netherlands and Senegal. Successful your first match is commonly important on the World Cup – 84% of groups that win their first sport advance to the knockout stage, whereas simply 11% of groups that lose their first sport advance.
Ecuador and Qatar gained’t return to the pitch till Friday for his or her second video games of the group stage. Ecuador will face the Netherlands at 11 a.m. ET after Qatar battles Senegal at 8 a.m. ET.