Ecuador secured a 2-0 victory over Qatar in the first match of the 2022 World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium.
The hosts endured a nervy start and conceded in the first five minutes after a terrible mistake by goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb, but were lucky to see Enner Valencia’s goal ruled out for an offside.
However, they still fell behind on the quarter hour after Valencia found the back of the net again from the spot.
Ecuador continued retaining possession amd controlling the pace, while struggled to knit a few passes going forward.
Valencia got his brace on the half hour, notching home a perfect header off Ángelo Preciado’s cross.
The South Americans created more glorious opportunities in the following moments but failed to convert them as they went to the break with a two-goal cushion.
Qatar resumed the second half with better organisation, but were failing in the final third. However, maintaining the possession for a longer time proved difficult for the hosts.
Ecuador, on the other end, registered a couple of attacks after the restart with Renato Ibarra forcing a save from Al Sheeb towards the hour.
The result remained unchanged as Qatar became the first host nation to lose their opening game at the World Cup.