BARRIO – It didn’t go too well for the host country Qatar. They fell 2-0 to Ecuador in their opening game.
Enner Valencia two goals was enough to make Qatar the first host team to lose the opening match of its World Cup.
The opening ceremony, featuring actor Morgan Freeman, BTS star Jung Kook, mascots of past World Cups and a whole lot of fireworks.
After an Ecuador free kick, forward Enner Valencia was there to head into the vacated goal. While it seemed Ecuador had taken the lead, VAR review, using the new semi-automated offside technology, ruled that Michael Estrada’s foot had been in an offside position in the build-up.
10 minutes later Valencia was pulled down in the 18 for a penalty. He placed the penalty kick low and to the right while Al Sheeb went the other way, giving Ecuador the 1–0 lead.
Valencia was at it again in the 31st minute, heading in his second of the game.
The two sides are grouped with Senegal and the Netherlands, who play their Group A opener on Monday. That was originally slated to be the opening match of the competition until FIFA moved Qatar-Ecuador a day earlier, to give the host the spotlight. Unfortunately for Qatar, it wasn’t the kind of attention it wanted to receive, and now it’s left with two difficult matches in which it’ll look to avoid becoming just the second host nation (South Africa, 2010) to fail to make it out of the opening phase.