Qatar becomes first World Cup host to lose opener

Jonathan Regev, Qatar

i24NEWS Sports Correspondent | @JRegevi24news

2 min read
Football fans of Ecuador celebrate in the street after defeating Qatar in the opening football match of the Qatar 2022 World Cup in Quito, Ecuador, on November 20, 2022.
Rodrigo BUENDIA / AFPFootball fans of Ecuador celebrate in the street after defeating Qatar in the opening football match of the Qatar 2022 World Cup in Quito, Ecuador, on November 20, 2022.

The final score was 2-0, with Ecuador securing the win against the Gulf country

Qatar became the first host country to lose the opening match of the World Cup on Sunday, with the final score against Ecuador being 2-0 in a moment of unwanted history for the Arab country.

Three minutes into the match, Ecuador's Enner Valencia managed to head the ball into the net, but the goal was disallowed. 

Some thirteen minutes later, Ecuador took the lead after Qatari goalkeeper Saad Alsheeb grabbed Valencia's shin. The referee awarded a penalty kick, and Valencia got the goal. 

The Arab country improved slightly in the second period but was no match for powerhouse Valencia, who later added a second goal. This gave the country a 2-0 lead in the 31st minute, securing the win. 

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After the match, Qatar's coach Felix Sanchez said, "The atmosphere was one of great expectation. We are sorry that we could not be part of the party, but we knew that this scenario could happen. We will try to learn."

This will hamper the team's ability to make it out of the first round. The other two teams in group A are the Netherlands and Senegal.

Qatar spent $200 billion on a remarkable, albeit controversial, construction project to host the World Cup after the tiny Gulf state won the right to host the tournament in 2010.

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A crowd of 67,372 packed into the impressive Al Bayt Stadium, modeled after a traditional Bedouin tent, for the opening ceremony. The spectacular show featured performances from stars ranging from K-pop fame to the bright lights of Hollywood. 

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