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Ecuador Shame Hosts Qatar 2-0 in WC Opener

Ecuador Shame Hosts Qatar 2-0 in WC Opener

It’s Enner Valencia's time as Ecuador scuttled hosts Qatar in the opener of the 2022 World Cup.

The former West Ham player netted both goals for the Ecuadorians – in the 16th minute via a penalty shot and then in the 31st minute – to frustrate home fans who watched at Al Bayt Stadium and all over the country.

In a dramatic start to the Group A match, Valencia's header from close range was ruled out for offside by the VAR (video assistant referee), but the South Americans pushed on.

The 33-year-old forward was brought down by Qatar's erratic goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb, who was brought into the box, and the former stepped up to knock in the spot-kick for a 1-0 Ecuador lead.

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Valencia, who also had a loan spell at Everton, connected on another header before halftime to make it 2-0 and silence the pro-Qatar crowd.

Several Qatar fans who had left the stadium at the break did not return, leaving the ground nearly empty for much of the second half.

The home side failed to gain ground; star men Almoez Ali and Hassan al-Haydos were both substituted with 20 minutes to go, and the side was unable to make a shot on target.

Qatar, the Asian champions (a tournament they won back in 2019), were unable to test Ecuador goalkeeper Hernan Galindez once.

With the loss, Qatar became the first host in the history of the competition to lose their opening game.

EXTENDED

Meanwhile, Ecuador put themselves in a position to progress as they extended their excellent recent form to one defeat in 16 games and kept a clean sheet in their last seven.

The match with Ecuador appeared to be the easiest for Qatar in the group, but the result proved otherwise.

La Tri tries to post their second straight win when they take on the Netherlands on November 26, while The Clowns seek to bounce back when they battle Senegal, the Africa Cup of Nations champions on November 25.
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