Ecuador Skipper Enner Valencia Condemns Qatar to Opining Day Defeat


Last Updated: November 21, 2022, 00:29 IST

Ecuador's Enner Valencia, right, celebrates after scoring his second goal during the World Cup, group A soccer match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Ecuador’s Enner Valencia, right, celebrates after scoring his second goal during the World Cup, group A soccer match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Enner Valencia netted first from the penalty spot and then with a header to give Ecuador a victory in the curtain raiser as Qatar became the first host nation to lose the opening World Cup game

Ecuador comprehensively defeated Qatar 2-0 in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.

From the first moments, Qatar made a disappointing start to their World Cup campaign and became the first host country to lose their opening game.

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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 were 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.

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