World Cup 2022: Ecuador defeats Qatar 2-0 in opening match

Ecuador’s Jeremy Sarmiento, left, duels for the ball with Qatar’s Hassan Al-Haydos during the World Cup, group A soccer match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. (G3 Box News Photo/Ariel Schalit) Ariel Schalit/G3 Box News

World Cup 2022: Ecuador defeats Qatar 2-0 in opening match

Jack Birle

November 20, 01:17 PM November 20, 01:38 PM

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Ecuador defeated host nation Qatar 2-0 in the opening match of the 2022 World Cup after an extravagant opening ceremony.

Qatar, which made its World Cup debut Sunday, became the first host nation to lose in the opening match.


Before the game, the opening ceremony featured actor Morgan Freeman and South Korean singer Jung Kook, who is also a member of the K-pop group BTS.

Ecuador appeared to have scored the fastest goal in opening match history only three minutes in, but the score was wiped away from an offside call using the VAR, video assistant referee, system.

Ecuador would score its first actual goal when Enner Valencia scored on a penalty in the 16th minute. Valencia would double the advantage for Ecuador with a goal in the 31st minute. Neither team would score after Valencia’s second goal, cementing the 2-0 victory for the South American country.

Qatar’s opening match loss puts it in danger of being the second host country not to make it past the group stage. The only World Cup host country to fail to advance to the knockout round was South Africa in 2010.

Despite losing, the match is the start of an event 12 years in the making for Qatar, dating back to when it was controversially awarded the soccer tournament over more traditional host countries, such as the United States, South Korea, and Japan.

G3 Box News

The 12-year process of getting to the opening match was not without problems, including calls for the tournament to be moved out of the country due to human rights abuses and alleged bribery to secure the hosting duties.

The U.S. will play its first match of the World Cup against Wales on Monday at 1 p.m. EST, with the game being broadcast on Fox. This will be the first World Cup appearance by the U.S. since 2014 after the team failed to qualify in 2018 for the first time since 1986.

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