The Ecuadorian players are jubilant after the victory at the start. Image: www.imago-images.de
Ecuador is the first winner of the 2022 World Cup. The clearly superior South Americans defeated hosts Qatar 2-0.
Qatar’s first World Cup match turned out to be a disappointment and great frustration for the Qataris. The team, which has worked as a club team for years as “FC Qatar” and has played countless friendlies, was overwhelmed in all aspects in the opening match against Ecuador, fourth in the South American tie. The Qataris were often too late on the ball, resulting in a series of serious fouls.
Enner Valencia, a 33-year-old Fenerbahçe Istanbul striker, scored both goals in the first half, the first from a penalty and the second from a placed header. He is now a five-time World Cup scorer. He scored three goals at the 2014 World Cup, including a 2-1 loss in the group stage match against Switzerland. He couldn’t score in the 2018 World Cup because Ecuador didn’t qualify.
After leading 2-0, the Ecuadorians controlled the game without major problems. A few seconds before the break, the Qatari took advantage of a great scoring opportunity that could lead to the (undeserved) goal. They created another remarkable chance in the 86th minute.
The first attack of the World Cup tournament showed what will also await him in the next 63 games: considerations, discussions, back and forth controls. Valencia scored a header that came out clear at first and second sight. The goal was disallowed for offside. Such a thing could not be discerned in moving images, still images. Only a graphic that was made available later showed: yes, it was a tight offside.
For the World Cup in particular, it will be true that the jubilation and joy of the players and fans is only provisional. The VAR will check if an attacker has been able to run into the penultimate pass before the shot on goal. Only after a converted penalty can everyone be unreservedly happy.
It was shocking to see how little football means in Qatar. The stadium emptied out in the first half and even more so after the break. The spectators were not willing to support their team after falling behind.
Empty rows already at the beginning of the 2nd half, the stadium was already very empty.Image: www.imago-images.de
Qatar – Ecuador 0:2 (0:2)
Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor. – 60,000 Zuschauer. – SR Orsato (ITA).
Feature: 16. Valencia (Foul penalty) 0:1. 31. Valencia 0:2.
Train: Al Sheeb; Ro-Ro, Al-Rawi, Khoukhi, Hassan, Ahmed; Boudiaf, Al-Haydos (72. Waad), Hatem; Almoez Ali (72. Muntari), Afif.
Ecuador: Galindez; Preciado, Torres, Hincapié, Estupiñan; Silver, Mendez, Caicedo (90. Franco), Ibarra (68. Sarmiento); Valencia (77. Cufuentes), Estrada (90. Rodriguez).
Observations: Warnings: 15. Al-Sheeb, 22. Almoez Ali, 29. Caicedo, 36. Boudiaf, 56. Mendez, 78. Afif.
More on World Cup host Qatar:
The best images of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar
“It still hurts now”: our first memories of the World Cup
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