Qatar national team became the first host nation to get outclassed in the opening game. World soccer witnessed Qatar froze as Enner Valencia and Ecuador made an impressive 2-0 rout.
Tricolor dominated the whole tournament opener as Enner Valencia led to humbled the World Cup host and lift the South American team to clinched the first three points of the tournament and topping the Group A while Qatar sank to the last place and in a huge panic with contenders Senegal and Netherlands.
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It is obvious during the first 45 minutes of the match the inexperience of Qatar as Ecuador made an immediate goal as early as the 5th minute of the match but it was ruled out after VAR review. However, it did not hinder the South American squad to obliterate and embarrass Qatar on its home soil and in front of packed home crowds. Qatar received multiple yellow cards at the beginning when Saad Al Sheeb brought down Valencia in the penalty area. Enner Valencia is sent into the penalty area — the striker fires it to lift Ecuador ahead! Al Sheeb fails to guess the ball tremendously and allows Ecuador to take the momentum and the advantage to get off the mark in the World Cup.
With this successful penalty goal of Valencia, he became Ecuador’s highest scoring player in World Cup history (4 goals).
On the other hand, Qatar continued their dried performance as their star player Almoez Ali received a yellow card after he brought down Valencia with a loose challenge. This did not stop Valencia to finesse the host nation and made his way to the second goal at the 31st minute of the match with his super header into the bottom-left corner. Caicedo made an initial attempt but was denied and he worked the ball to Preciado who kicked the ball into the middle – Estrada failed to connect but Valencia was there to save and bring the ball away from Al Sheeb into the net.
Karim Boudiaf received the third yellow card for the team as he also became the third Qatari player to knock down Valencia in this match. Almoez Ali had a chance to score at the latter part of the first half with Al Haydos fires a cross into the box to send the ball to unmarked Almoez Ali but fails to deliver a much-needed dagger as the ball heads wide of the target from six yards.
The second half was a bit quiet and had a dead atmosphere – with the Qatari side looking exhausted and defeated as they continued their poor performance at their very first World Cup. As the buzzer ended, they became the first host nation to suffer a huge loss in their opening game (W16 D6 before today).
With the victory of Ecuador, tricolor now had a clear mission, to qualify for the last 16 as they are hoping for Valencia’s injury to be nothing too serious. They are gunning to upset Netherlands and Senegal. While Qatar, they have an impossible task to still have the chance of booking the knockout round but they must outclass Senegal and Netherlands and they looks like they are just distance away from exiting the tournament
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