Qatar Becomes The First Host Nation To Lose World Cup Opener

Ecuador's player celebrate after winning the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on November 20, 2022. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Enner Valencia’s two first-half goals led Ecuador to a dominant 2-0 victory over Qatar on Sunday as the home nation froze on their big night with an error-strewn display that left them as the first World Cup host to lose their opening game.

Qatar

Valencia, who had already had a third-minute header ruled out by VAR for offside, slotted in the tournament’s opening goal from the penalty spot in the 16th minute after being brought down by nervous-looking Qatari goalkeeper, Saad Alsheeb.

He powered home a 31st-minute header for the second and the South Americans then cruised home as an outclassed Qatar struggled to mount any meaningful attacks and had only a fluffed header by Almoez Ali to show for their limited efforts.

The other teams in Group A, Senegal and the Netherlands, meet in one of three games on Monday.

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