Ecuador beat Qatar 2-0 in the first game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Enner Valencia scored two goals in the first half as Ecuador came out on top. Valencia had an early header ruled out for a marginal offside call against teammate Michael Estrada, but he didn’t have to wait long to celebrate after winning and calmly converting a 16th-minute penalty.
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Ecuador’s captain became the first player in his country’s history to score four goals at a World Cup. After the thirty-minute mark, he got his fifth, heading home an excellent cross from right-wing back Angelo Preciado. Qatar will regret the missed opportunities they had just before halftime, while Felix Sanchez’s team did not meet their pregame expectations.
Enner Valencia double strike wins it for Ecuador
Goalkeeper Saad Al-Sheeb was granted a reprieve from VAR intervention when he failed to claim the ball on a set piece. Valencia soon scored, and the goal stood. Ecuador striker, Miller Estrada scored for Ecuador with a neat finish after he followed up on a well thought out pass. The goal leaves Qatar with little chance of overturning the deficit.
Enner Valencia waited to send Al-Sheeb the wrong way for the second goal and his finish was just as clinical. He arrowed it into the bottom left corner. Jordan Estrada missed his penalty kick when the goal his efforts deserved was just a tap away at the end of some excellent work by Gonzalo Plata.
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The only concern for Ecuador boss Gustavo Alfaro came 15 minutes from time, when Valencia hero and captain hobbled off with an injury. Substitute Mohammed Muntari struck a late effort that beat the goalkeeper, but there were few reasons to be encouraged as they were outplayed.
After beginning the match with a higher intensity than Qatar could handle, Ecuador closed things out with an experience of the top level that their opponents did not possess. The hosts now have some work to do.