Home » Blog » QATAR 0-2 ECUADOR: Enner Valencia Double Sees Ecuador Beat Qatar In World Cup Opener

QATAR 0-2 ECUADOR: Enner Valencia Double Sees Ecuador Beat Qatar In World Cup Opener

A double from Enner Valencia has earned Ecuador a 2-0 win over Qatar in Sunday’s World Cup opener at the Al Bayt Stadium.

Valencia, after previously seeing an early header ruled out through VAR, gave Ecuador a deserved lead from the penalty spot after 16 minutes, before following his effort from 12 yards with a brilliant header shortly after the half-hour mark.

It could have been even worse for the hosts in front of a 67,372 crowd at the tent-shaped Al Bayt stadium had Valencia, 33, not had a third minute header disallowed for a marginal offside after goalkeeper Saad Alsheeb had flapped at the ball. It was Alsheeb who later tripped Valencia when he was through on goal and then dived the wrong way as the Ecuadorean coolly dispatched the resulting penalty in the 16th minute.

For his second, Valencia was unmarked but still showed great technique to stoop and take Angelo Preciado’s cross almost from behind him to head past Alsheeb again. That goal killed the Group A game as a contest and the second half was played at a slow pace, with the stands rapidly emptying.

Qatar, who were playing a World Cup fixture for the first time, had fleeting moments going forward, but the Asian nation were thoroughly outclassed for large periods of the Group A fixture in Al Khor and become the first World Cup hosts to lose their opening match.

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