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AL KHOR, QATAR(SMI-SPORTS, NOV. 20-DEC. 18, 2022)-The FIFA World Cup Qatar kicked-off its 22nd Men's edition with Ecuador defeating the host Qatar 2-0, with striker Enner Valencia scoring two goals in the tournament opening game of Group A at Bayt Stadium in Qatar.
With the victory, the Ecuadorian national soccer team who is participating on their third World Cup gained their first three points in Group A and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.While Qatar with the loss became the first host nation in the history of the FIFA World Cup tournament to loose their opening game.
A physical game from the start with Ecuador seemed more organized offensively and on a free-kick play inside the 18', Ecuadorian's All-time top scorer " Enner Valencia " opened the score with a header at 2:34' but it was disallowed after a VAR check for Offside call on a Ecuadorian player inside the penalty area.
The South-American team kept the pressure and in another counter-attack through the middle striker Michael Estrada kicked a perfect pass to Valencia who was running along a Qatari's defender inside the 18' but was brought down inside the 18' by Qatar's goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb for a penalty call at 14:21. Enner Valencia executed the penalty kick with a low hard shot to the left-side goal-post that ended in the back of the net to put Ecuador 1-0, over Qatar, registering the first goal of the game and the 2022 world cup tournament.
The Ecuadorian team took control of the ball and after numerous counter-attacks, midfielder Moises Caicedo ran with the ball to the right-side field corner and gave it back to defender Angelo Preciado who immediately centered a perfect pass inside the penalty area, finding Enner Valencia who headed it inside the back of the net for his second goal of the game and fifth in World Cup competition to put Ecuador 2-0, over Qatar at 30:40 of the first half and sealed the first win of Group A and the tournament.
Next match in Group A: Ecuador will be against the Netherlands on Friday Nov 25, 2022, at 11:00am, while Qatar will host Senegal Nov 25, 2022 at 08:00am.