Ecuador beat hosts Qatar 0-2 in their Group A opener of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.
Shortly after the start of the first half, Valencia scored with a header from a very close range, but the goal was invalidated by VAR after his teammate was adjudged to be in an offside position. Later, Valencia scored a penalty kick to give Ecuador the lead. Next, it was Valencia again who succeeded with a header. At the end of the first half, Ali made a miscontrolled the ball at a very close distance, which made the hosts miss a golden opportunity to punish their opponent. In the second half, Ibarra’s shot was bravely saved by Al Sheeb. Afterwards, Miguel’s header went slightly wide of the post. At the critical moment before the end of the game, Muntari’s long-range half shot hit the roof of the net and missed slightly off the goalpost. The game ended with Qatar getting off to a bad start and lost 0-2 to Ecuador.
In the 3rd minute, Ecuador got a free kick opportunity. Pervis Estupiñán took the free kick from by sending a through ball into the box from outside the penalty area, Michael Estrada attempted with a header, his effort was initially punched not far away by Saad Al Sheeb, after picking up the loose ball, Félix Torres made a acrobatic horizontal pass mid-air, Enner Valencia subsequently scored with a header, but the VAR assistant referee immediately intervened. Under the checking of the VAR video playback, Estrada was found to be in an offside position with his heel first, thus the goal was disallowed and Qatar escaped from being punished!
In the 16th minute, Ecuador made a deadly quick counterattack. Estrada made a through pass from near the center circle of the midfield, Valencia quickly followed up, beaten the offside trap, dribbled into the penalty area before being stumbled by the outrushing Saad Al Sheeb, and the referee blew his whistle immediately to award a penalty kick to Ecuador, and issued a yellow card to Al Sheeb as a warning. Enner Valencia scored emphatically to break the deadlock and help Ecuador lead 0-1 to get off to a fantastic start!
In the 31st minute, Ángelo Preciado crossed into the box from the right wing, Enner Valencia scored with a header from a very close distance while being unmarked to double his tally. Ecuador extended its lead to 0-2! Valencia took advantage to score and became the player with the most goals in the history of the La Tri in the World Cup proper with 5 goals!
In the 5th minute of stoppage time in the first half, Hassan Al-Haydos crossed into the box from the right wing, Almoez Ali succeeded in beating the offside trap, quickly followed up, jumped high and tried to stop the ball with his chest from a very close distance while being unmarked. However, as he miscontrolled There was no one at super close distance in front of the goal. Under the marking situation, when he jumped high and used his chest to stop the ball, he mishandled the ball and it ended up rolling out off the left post. Qatar missed a golden opportunity to get back a goal!
At the end of the first half, Qatar temporarily entered half time trailing Ecuador at 0-2.
In the 55th minute, Ecuador made a quick counterattack. Jeghson Méndez made a through diagonal pass from the center circle of the midfield. Romario Ibarra successfully beaten the offside trap, quickly followed up, took a few steps then shot with his right foot from the outer edge of the box, but his shot was saved by Al Sheeb who had to dived to the bottom right corner bravely.
7 minutes later, Abdelkarim Hassan made an over the top pass from the left wing and passed into the box, Pedro Miguel quickly followed up, jumped high in the middle of the box and attempted with a header, however his effort was slightly wide off the left goal post.
In the 85th minute, Bassam Al Rawi made a long pass from his own half. Mohammed Muntari succeeded in beating the offside trap, quickly followed up, got the ball and then unleashed an outrageous right footed half-volley from a long range, but his shot hit the roof of the net and is just slightly off the crossbar.
As the final whistle is blown, Ecuador beat Qatar 0-2 away, and the latter became the first hosts to lose in the opening game in the history of the World Cup.
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