Bitter premiere for Qatar with a defeat (0-2) by Ecuador

Qatar’s first appearance in the final stage of the World Cup was not accompanied by competitive success. The “rookie” organizers of the 2022 World Cup appeared very stressed against the clearly more experienced players of Ecuador, who eventually prevailed 2-0 at the packed Al Bait stadium in Al Khor, in the match that opened the curtain of the event.

The Latinos showed their determination from the start, as Enner Valencia’s goal was disallowed by VAR for offside by another team-mate in just the 3rd minute. The home side were spared thanks to technology, but in the 15th minute the Fenerbahce forward’s tackle by goalkeeper Al Sheb was so clear that Daniele Orsato didn’t even have to watch it again on video.

Penalty, the ball at 11 paces and Valencia with impressive ease and confidence sent the goalkeeper to the right, the ball to the left and opened the scoring by scoring the first goal of the 2022 World Cup. The Ecuadorian forward was impossible to intercept by the Qatari defense and in the 31st minute he doubled his lead with a nailed header, giving his team a clear lead.

In the entire first half, the home team was seen only on one occasion, at 45+5′, when Alli failed to get on the path of the ball and push it into the net, although he was very close to the goal.

In the second half of the match, Qatar tried to take the lead with nothing to lose, but the South American group were very dangerous in their counter-attacks. In the 55th minute, Al Seb blocked Ibarra’s deflected shot from the height of the area and then Alfaro’s team managed the time very comfortably, only being in danger in the 86th minute, when a nice shot by Mudari went narrowly wide.

It should be noted that in the 77th minute, the scorer Valencia was replaced by grabbing his knee, as he was dealing with an injury problem since the end of the first half.

REFEREE: Daniele Orsato

YELLOW: Al Seb, Ali, Boudiaf, Afif – Caicedo, Mendes

QATAR (Felix Sanchez): Al Sheb, Miguel, Hassan, Ahmed, Hisham, Kouki, Hatem, Al Haidos (Wad 72), Boudiaf, Afif, Ali (Mudari 72).

ISIMERINOS (Gustavo Julio Alfaro): Galindes, Torres, Hincapier, Estupinian, Preciado, Ibarra (68′ Sarmiento), Plata, Mendes, Caicedo (90′ Franco), Estrada (90′ K. Rodriguez), Valencia (77′ Sifuentes).


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