Experience Enner Valencia extends World Cup goal tally to five with his brace today to properl Ecuador to a 0-2 victory over host nation Qatar in the opening game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Maroons begun the game on higher note especially in the opening ten minutes, leading in terms of possession but couldn’t make any incursion.
Experience Enner Valencia opened the scoring account for Ecuador in just three minutes from kickoff after heading from a close range but was flagged off for offside in a very controversial way.
After having his goal disallowed, Enner Valencia had a decent opportunity and rounded goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb but brought him down for a penalty. The skipper stepped up and scored beautifully to score his fourth at the World Cup.
The former West Ham United forward increased Ecuador’s tally on the 31st with a towering header from Angelo Preciado cross.
Qatar had an opportunity to reduce the deficit just on the stroke of half time but Almoez Ali’s header from Pedro Miguel’s pinpoint cross was very poor and went out for a goalkick. It ended 0-2 for Ecuador after first half.
Back from recess, the Tricolors took it from where they ended and this time were ahead in terms of possession over Felix Sanchez’s men.
The Maroons also begun to push more men in attack with the mindset of not disappointing on home soil but most of their incursions are dealt with nicely by the Ecuador backline.
On the 55th minute, Romario Ibarra came so close to getting his name on the scoresheet but his strike was parried away by goalkeeper Al Sheeb.
Qatar have been all over in the last 15 minutes, and exhibited some sumptuous display of football but finding their way through the opposition area was their major problem.
Akram Afif cuts in beautifully from the right and launched a strong hit but was way off target.
Ecuador with a huge opportunity on the 80th minute to net their third but Gonzalo Plata’s close range shot was wide.
Substitute Muntari Mohammed on the 85th minute, controlled a decent pass and sent a belter from outside but went over the crossbar.
The game produced no goal in the second half despite the series of attempts made. Ecuador wins 2-0 over Qatar- who becomes the first country to loose their opening game.