: World Cup 2022 kicks off with 2-0 loss for host Qatar against Ecuador

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Ecuador defeated Qatar 2-0 in the World Cup’s opening game Sunday thanks to goals from Enner Valencia. Qatar is the first country in the Arab World to host the World Cup, although the tournament has been mired in controversy. The plight of migrant workers, along with LGBTQ+ rights in the Gulf state, sparked a backlash against the tournament long before a ball was even kicked. In the opening game, the host nation were immediately placed under pressure by the South Americans. Within minutes Ecuador forward Valencia had the ball in the back of the net following a mistake by Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb, but the goal was ruled out by the Video Assistant Referee. It was a nervy start from Qatar on their World Cup debut and Ecuador continued to press, with Valencia winning a penalty after a quarter of an hour when he was fouled by Al Sheeb. The striker duly sent the Qatar keeper the wrong way for the tournament’s opening goal. Valencia doubled Ecuador’s lead on 31 minutes with an emphatic header into the bottom corner from Angelo Preciado’s cross. Qatar forward Almoez Ali missed a great chance at the end of the first half when he didn’t get enough contact on his close-range header, which glanced wide. Despite an improved performance in the second half, Qatar didn’t trouble Ecuador goalkeeper Hernan Galindez and became the first host nation in World Cup history to lose their opening game.

This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.

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