Mon, 05 Dec 2022

Al Khor [Qatar], November 21 (ANI): After the loss to Ecuador in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup, Qatar coach Felix Sanchez said that his team needs to defend well and stay organised in order to be competitive.

Enner Valencia scored a brace to help Ecuador defeat Qatar in the opening game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar on Sunday.

"We fought this game in a certain way, but our opponent had their own ideas. It is not that we did not want to attack, but our opponent had their own weapons," said Sanchez as quoted by Sky Sports.

"If we want to be competitive, we will need to defend, and be very well organised. When we have possession we would like to be more effective," added the coach.

The group A game saw the hosts being dominated by the South Americans, with the match seeing the maiden instance where the opening goal of a World Cup was scored through a penalty kick.

Ecuador's captain Enner Valencia set the FIFA World Cup on fire with a goal within three minutes of the football extravaganza kicking off. The striker received the ball off a kick by Felix Torres and headed it into the net, sparking celebration by Ecuadorian fans.

However, the celebration was short-lived as the referee ruled the goal as off-side. A VAR check confirmed that the goal was off-side.

Ecuador kept on attacking and kept possession of the ball, while the Qatari players seemed to be chasing itl.

Valencia made a superb run in the 16th minute of the match towards the goal but a tackle from Qatar's goalkeeper Al Sheeb saw him going down and winning a penalty for his team.

Sheeb was given a yellow for his tackle on Valencia by the goalkeeper and a penalty was also awarded to Ecuador.

The Ecuador captain was spot on with the penalty kick as he sent the ball into the right-bottom corner, scoring his fourth career World Cup goal and giving his team a 1-0 lead over hosts Qatar.

Qatar players found it difficult to settle down against the South-American team as the team lost possession continuously, failing to pass the ball cleanly. Another yellow card for Qatar came to Almoez Ali for his tackle on the Ecuadorian captain.

Ecuador continued to dominate and scored again through Valencia in the 31st minute.

Right-back Angelo Preciado sent a brilliant cross from the left and the Ecuadorian captain guided the ball to the bottom left corner of the net with his head, scoring his second goal of the match.

There was another check for offside after the second goal but the decision came in the favour of Ecuador as they took a 2-0 lead.

Seeing Valencia creating trouble for Qatar, the hosts started to guard the player often bringing him down with their tackles. Qatar's Karim Boudiaf was given a yellow card for his tackle on Valencia.

Valencia kept taking the hits and had to walk off the field in the 43rd minute, after being hit on his knee.

Qatar had a superb chance to score a goal in the dying minutes of the first half but the chance went begging as Almoez Ali could not get clean contact with the ball.

The first half ended with Qatar trailing 0-2 in their first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.Qatar seemed better with their passing in the second half with a few threatening runs but lacked the finishing touches.

They played better football in the second half but did not look like scoring, not posing any significant danger to Ecuador.

Qatar came close to scoring in the 86th minute with Mohammed Muntari making an excellent run and taking a shot at the goal, missing by a few inches.

Neither of the team was able to score in the second half and the match ended with a scoreline of 2-0 in Ecuador's favour.

With this win, Ecuador became the first team to beat the host nation in the opening match of the World Cup in the 92-year history of the tournament.

Ecuador will now face the Netherlands in their second group match on Friday while Qatar will host Senegal on the same day. (ANI)

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