Qatar vs. Ecuador final score: 2022 FIFA World Cup opening game sees Enner Valencia shine, Tricolor dominate

Qatar vs. Ecuador final score: 2022 FIFA World Cup opening game sees Enner Valencia shine, Tricolor dominate

World Cup hosts Qatar were humbled by Ecuador on Sunday in the tournament opener as an Enner Valencia brace lifted Gustavo Alfaro’s squad to a deserved 2-0 victory. The win sees the South Americans lead Group A with three points (complete standings) while the hosts are in big trouble with Senegal and Netherlands to come (complete schedule).

The match began with controversy with Ecuador finding the back of the net on a wild little sequence in the box, but VAR shockingly called an offside that seemed very harsh, yet it was backed up by the recently introduced automated offside technology.

But just 10 minutes later, Ecuador would finally get their opener on a well-deserved penalty kick. Valencia was taken down in the box and cooly finished the spot kick for the 1-0 lead. He would add his second before the break with a brilliant, powerful header to the bottom left corner of the goal to all but wrap up the win.

Qatar, meanwhile, showed next to nothing during their first World Cup match in the history of their program. The reigning champions of Asia barely looked like a threat to create a chance, let alone score, putting them in a difficult spot moving forward.

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“The credit goes to the players because of their attitude, because of their commitment, because of their form, because of their intent,” Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro said after the match. “Because we suffered a punch when the game started when they ruled the goal out for offside.

“We continued looking. I think they won with clarity … I hope it’s the start of something special, which is what we want.”

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