Al Bayt Stadium Shines as Qatar take on Ecuador in Maiden Middle-Eastern World Cup

2022-11-20 | Since 2 Week

Al Bayt Stadium Shines

Doha, 20 November 2022 - The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 got underway in style as hosts Qatar came out fighting against a feisty Ecuadorian side in their maiden World Cup finals, in a game that ended 2-0 at Al Khor’s Al Bayt Stadium in front of a capacity crowd.

The fans roared as the game got underway, with Qatar immediately propelling the ball into the Ecuador box, before Félix Torres cleared the danger. Just a minute later, Ecuador seemed like they would take the lead when Qatar’s goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb mistimed his jump in an effort to claim the ball, as Enner Valencia found the back of the net before being ruled out for offside.

In the 15th minute Al Sheeb, appearing unsettled by the occasion, brought down Valencia - before the Ecuadorian captain effortlessly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner, becoming the first player in the competition’s history to claim the lead from the penalty spot in an opening game.

Valencia doubled his side’s lead in the 31st minute with a perfect header away from Al-Sheeb into the bottom-left corner.

Just two minutes later, Qatar had their first shot as Abdelkarim Hassan’s effort was sent wide, before Ecuador retorted and Al Sheeb claimed the ball from Pervis Estupinan.

Five minutes added time were awarded at the end of the first half, allowing time for Qatar to grow in confidence as Hassan Al Haydos fired a brilliant cross from the right to find Almoez Ali in the box, who sent the header wide.

The start of the second half saw both teams take a more measured approach, until a 60th minute injury to Ángelo Preciado interrupted proceedings, allowing Abdelkarim to break away up the left flank to deliver the ball to Pedro with precision, who headed it just wide of the far post.

The remainder of the second half saw a confident home side defend well as both sides struggled to create any real chances, until the 86th minute saw Qatar’s best attempt on goal as Mohammed Muntari struck a shot that rippled the roof of the net after just 14 minutes on the pitch.

Ecuador top group A following the tournament’s opening match. Group A also includes the Netherlands and Senegal, who are preparing to meet tomorrow evening at 7pm Doha time, at Khalifa International Stadium.


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