Qatar became the only host nation to lose the opening game in World Cup history after falling 2-0 to Ecuador on Sunday at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Playing in their first-ever World Cup, the Maroons’ inexperience and lack of quality shone early in the game as Enner Valencia scored in under three minutes. A goal that was later ruled out for an offside.
13 minutes after, Valencia, the Ecuador captain, won a penalty when he was brought down by goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb and slotted in beautifully for the opener.
The South Americans doubled their lead 31 minutes in. Valencia again.
The Fenerbahçe forward headed in the second from an Angelo Preciado precise lofted pass into the box in the 31st minute.
The first half finished 2-0 in favour of Ecuador.
In the second half, Ecuador seemed to have taken their leg off the gas a bit, with Qatar also having some good spells in the game.
Ecuador now leads Group A with three points ahead of today’s meeting between Senegal and the Netherlands.