Enner Valencia's cool and composed brace takes Ecuador home against Qatar in the first game of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicked off at the Al Bayt Stadium with the hosts, Qatar taking on Ecuador in the Group A fixture. Qatar went with Akram Afif and Almoez Ali as their front two in a 3-5-2 formation. Their midfield was stacked with Pedro Miguel, Hassan Haidos, Karim Boudiaf, Hatem and Homam Elamin. The host had a back three with Al Rawi, Khoukhi and Fadlalla.
On the other hand, Ecuador played with an attacking 4-3-3 formation, with Estupinan, Hincapie, Torres and Preciado playing at the backline. Caicedo, Mendez and Plata were at the heart of the pitch. Romario Ibarra, Valencia and Estrada were the front three.
Qatar began with promise, but the attack posed no major threat because Ecuador dealt with it calmly. Ecuador broke quickly and put pressure on the Qatari defense, resulting in a mistake. Valencia capitalized on it to put Ecuador up 1-0, only for it to be ruled a tight offside. Plata then took control and whipped one inside, only for the defender to clear.
Mendez played on through to Valencia, and yet another mistake was drawn, and Ecuador were awarded a penalty. Valencia kept his cool to put Ecuador down 1-0 and score his first goal of the tournament. Caicedo then breaks through Qatar’s midfield and feeds Preciado on the right flank. He then sent one ball into the box, where Valencia headed it 0-2 for Ecuador.
Qatar showed flashes of quality football as Hatem delivered a peach of a delivery to Afif, only for him to smash one over the bar from 25 yards. Muntari grabbed the ball after Ecuador’s defender failed to clear it and fired a shot that went over the crossbar. All of the damage was done in the first half when Qatar was caught off guard, and Ecuador took all three points in the first game of the FIFA World Cup and topped Group A.
Meanwhile, here’s how the fans reacted after Ecuador’s win against Qatar
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— Randi Setto (@randi59778596) November 20, 2022
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— Rory Scurfield (@RoryScurfield) November 20, 2022