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Key Events

Akram Afif
Yellow Card
J. Méndez
Yellow Card
Karim Boudiaf
Yellow Card
E. Valencia
A. Preciado
0 - 2
E. Valencia
Penalty Goal
0 - 1

Match Stats

47% 52%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 0 3
Total Passes 434 486
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Live table
Pos Team P W D L F A +/- PTS Form
1 Netherlands NED Netherlands 3 2 1 0 5 1 +4 7 W D W
2 Senegal SEN Senegal 3 2 0 1 5 4 +1 6 W W L
3 Ecuador ECU Ecuador 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1 4 L D W
4 Qatar QAT Qatar 3 0 0 3 1 7 -6 0 L L L


8th Finals


Thanks for joining our commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
Qatar are next in action against Senegal on Friday, while Ecuador face off against Netherlands on the same day.
Ecuador secure a 2-0 victory over Qatar in the first match of the 2022 World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium. El Tri saw a third-minute header from Enner Valencia disallowed for offside by VAR, but Valencia soon got his side up and running scoring from the penalty spot after he was fouled by Saad Al Sheeb. The Ecuador captain then extended his side's lead with a brilliant header from Angel Preciado's cross. Almoez Ali missed Qatar's best chance of the game before the interval, heading wide from close range. Ecuador saw out the result in the second half with ease to notch a victory and three vital points in Group A.
90' + 5' Rodriguez attacks the resulting corner from Estupinan, but he sends his effort wide of the target.
90' + 4' Al Rawi takes a blow to face conceding a corner down the left flank, but he gets to his feet. Ecuador are almost over the line here.
90' + 2' Ecuador have not been able to add further goals in the second half, but have been rock solid at the back. It has been a professional performance from El Tri.
90' There will be five minutes of added time.
A. Franco
M. Caicedo
90' Caicedo was booked and is sensibly withdrawn to be replaced by Franco.
K. Rodríguez
M. Estrada
90' Rodriguez makes his way on to the field to replace Estrada in the final third.
89' Ecuador are looking to take time off the clock now. They win a corner down the right flank which is cleared by Al Rawi from Plata's delivery.
86' CHANCE! Muntari latches on to a ball over the top that Hincapie fails to head clear. He takes on the strike first-time on the half-volley, but sends his effort just over the bar. So close for the hosts.
86' Ecuador have a great chance on the break, but Sarmiento overhits his throughball beyond the reach of Estrada, spurning a golden opportunity to kill off the contest.
84' Plata overhits a deep cross from the right flank out of play for a goal-kick. Ecuador have not been on point in the second half with their set-pieces.
83' There have been just nine shots between Qatar (four) and Ecuador (five) so far. Since 1966, and prior to this tournament, the lowest combined total in a single game was 11 in 2018 (Colombia vs Senegal).
81' Cifuentas sends an incisive pass into the box for Plata's run, but Al Sheeb races off his line and gets there ahead of the Ecuador winger. He takes a knock in the process from Plata, but the Qatar keeper is fine.
79' OFFSIDE! Sarmiento blazes the ball over the bar from close range, but he is relieved to see the offside flag raised after latching on to Estupinan's cutback.
Akram Afif
Yellow Card
78' Afif puts in a poor challenge in on Plata and goes into the book.
J. Cifuentes
E. Valencia
77' Valencia is withdrawn after feeling his knee again. Cifuentas replaces the Ecuador skipper after his two-goal display.
75' OVER! Hatem works the ball back to Afif to strike at goal from 25 yards, but he blazes his effort well over the bar.
73' Estupinan take the resulting free-kick, but he fails to beat the first Qatar defender with his delivery into the box.
72' Miguel brings down Sarmiento in the final third down the left flank, handing Ecuador a free-kick in a good position.
Mohammed Muntari
Almoez Ali
72' Almoez Ali missed a good chance right at the end of the first half and will look back on that with regret. He is now replaced by Muntari.
Mohammed Waad
Hassan Al Haydos
71' Waad enters the action to replace Al Haydos for Qatar. Al Sheeb takes over the captain's armband.
69' Plata takes possession down the right flank and look for an offload inside on the right flank, but he sees his pass travel away from Estrada.
J. Sarmiento
R. Ibarra
68' Ibarra makes way for El Tri after a solid perfomance. He is withdrawn for Sarmiento.
67' Hatem whips a cross into the box from the left flank, but it travels all the way over to the right for Miguel to collect. He sees his follow-up delivery charged down by Estupinan.
64' Qatar are still have issues retaining possession. Caicedo and Mendez are winning turnovers aplenty in the middle of the park to put the home side under pressure.
62' WIDE! Hassan floats a cross into the box towards the right flank where Miguel rises to power a header at goal, but Galindez watches it past his post.
60' Preciado slides to clear a ball into touch and remains down for El Tri. He requires treatment before the game can continue.
58' There is no sign of Qatar mustering a threat in the second half yet. Sanchez may have to look to his bench for action.
J. Méndez
Yellow Card
56' Mendez catches Afif with a late boot and goes into the book.
55' SAVE! Al Sheeb denies Ibarra with a solid stop. Al Rawi gives possession away to Mendez, who threads the needle to release Ibarra. He cuts back to shoot on his right foot, but Al Sheeb turns his effort away from goal.
54' Plata takes a sublime touch in the Qatar half before skipping past two challenges. He delivers a dangerous cross into the box that just evades Estrada.
52' OVER! Preciado collects in space and goes for a blast from 25 yards, which sails comfortably over the bar.
51' Estrada feeds Ibarra down the left flank and he has options in the box. He goes for a cutback towards Plata, only to see his cross cleared ahead of the winger.
49' Qatar have failed to start the second half with impetus. They've been lapse in possession, allowing Ecuador re-establish their foothold.
47' Valencia tries to drive through the middle of the Qatar defence, but his pass to Estrada is blocked before the hosts sweep it away from danger.
46' We're back under way at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Qatar looked very nervy until the dying stages of the second half. They were rocked in the early stages by Al Sheeb's mistake that allowed Valencia to head home, and even though it was disallowed by VAR, Qatar failed to settle. There signs towards the end of the half that they were gaining confidence and Almoez Ali should have reduced the deficit. If they can get an early goal in the second half, it will allow the crowd to come to life and potentially spark a comeback.
Ecuador hold a 2-0 lead at the break against Qatar in the opening match of the 2022 World Cup. El Tri should have been off the mark inside three minutes, but Enner Valencia saw his header controversially ruled out by VAR for offside. However, Valencia and Ecuador responded as the forward was brought down in the box by Saad Al Sheeb and he converted the resulting penalty. Valencia then notched his second with a brilliant header from Angel Preciado's cross to put his team in command.
45' + 5' CHANCE! ALMOEZ ALI HAS TO SCORE! Al Haydos fires a cross into the box from the right flank for an unmarked Almoez Ali, but the forward glances his header wide of the target from six yards. Qatar should be back in the game.
45' + 4' Preciado battles with Hossam for possession down the right flank, but Qatar get the free-kick for a shove by the Ecuador full-back.
45' + 2' Qatar are getting their foot on the ball towards the end of the first half. Where was this earlier in the game?
45' There will be five minutes of added time.
44' Valencia seems to be okay, although Alfaro will monitor his condition at the break.
42' Valencia is down for El Tri as extends his knee in a challenge with Boudiaf. He requires treatment before the game can continue.
41' Afif finds space behind the Ecuador backline and the flag remains down. El Tri get men back behind the ball and a tackle from Mendez allows them to regain possession.
39' Al Rawi has to make a vital challenge at the back to prevent Valencia bursting through on goal in the inside-left channel from Ibarra's pass.
38' Al Sheeb breathes a sigh of relief as he claims a simple cross from Estupinan on this occasion. That might settle his nerves a little bit.
Karim Boudiaf
Yellow Card
36' Boudiaf clatters into Valencia from the side and brings down the forward. He goes into the book for a poor challenge.
35' There are nerves in the Qatar box as Estupinan launches another free-kick into the box that bounces awkwardly before the host nation clear.
33' OVER! Qatar have their first shot in anger in the contest, but Hassan launches his effort high and wide over the bar.
32' Valencia is the first player to score five goals in a row for a South American nation at the World Cup.
A. Preciado
31' Preciado collects on the right flank and angles a dangerous cross into the middle that Valencia converts with a fine header.
E. Valencia
31' GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! VALENCIA SCORES A SUPER HEADER!!!!! 2-0 ECUADOR!!!!! Valencia doubles Ecuador's lead with a perfect header into the bottom-left corner. Caicedo makes a break forward into the Qatar half, but sees his initial throughball blocked. He works a ball out wide to Preciado on the right flank, who whips a fine cross into the middle. Estrada fails to make contact, but Valencia places his header to perfection away from Al Sheeb into the net.
M. Caicedo
Yellow Card
29' Caicedo brings down Al Haydos on the charge and goes into the book.
29' OVER! Torres hooks a ball over the top for Valencia that Khouki clears as far as Ibarra. He takes on the strike, but sends his effort over the top.
28' This is the first time the first goal at an edition of the World Cup has been a penalty.
26' Plata makes a probing run down the right flank and tries to weave his way past two players, only to lose out to Boudiaf covering back for Qatar.
24' Afif tries to put Plata under pressure down the left flank, but the Ecuador midfielder clears the danger. Khouki misses a header that almost allows Valencia to threaten before Al Rawi sweeps up the loose ball.
Almoez Ali
Yellow Card
22' Almoez Ali bring down Valencia with a loose challenge and goes into the book. He is the second Qatar player to receive a yellow card.
21' Khouki gives the ball away, but Plata loses possession as he collects an offload from Estrada in the Qatar box. The host nation have to settle down here.
20' Hincapie floats a ball over the top for Estupinan down the left flank and he lifts a cross into the box. Estrada attacks the delivery, but heads over and then collides into Al Sheeb. Both players remain down for a few moments before getting to their feet.
18' Miguel collects in the inside-right channel, but he takes a heavy touch under pressure from Hincapie and knocks it out for a goal-kick.
18' Valencia is now Ecuador's highest scoring player in World Cup history (four goals), moving ahead of Agustin Delgado (three goals).
E. Valencia
Penalty Goal
16' GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!! VALENCIA FIRES ECUADOR AHEAD!!!!! 1-0!!!! El Tri do have the lead on this occasion as Valencia holds his composure to slot his effort into the bottom-right corner. Al Sheeb guesses incorrectly and it allows Ecuador to get off the mark in the World Cup.
Saad Al Sheeb
Yellow Card
15' Al Sheeb goes into the book for bringing down Valencia in the penalty area. The Qatar keeper is not having a good start to the competition.
15' PENALTY TO ECUADOR! Valencia is played through on goal by Mendez and is brought down by Al Sheeb. Estrada latches onto the loose ball and sees his effort blocked on the line, but the referee goes back to point to the spot for the initial foul.
12' Plata whips a cross into the box from the right flank towards the near post, but Khouki rises to head clear for the hosts.
11' Estupinan sends a dangerous low cross into the middle, but Qatar manage to scramble the ball away and behind for a corner.
9' Al Rawi brings down Valencia on the left flank and the referee awards a free-kick in a useful position for El Tri.
7' Qatar have been given a second life here and have to make the most out of their opportunity. However, they have made a very nervy start to the game.
5' DISALLOWED GOAL! Valencia puts the ball into the back of the net following a terrible mistake by Al Sheeb, failing to punch a simple cross into the box away from danger. However, the goal is disallowed for offside against the forward as he converts from Torres' scuffed overhead kick. It is very controversial as there didn't appear to be a lot wrong with that.
2' Caicedo is brought down on the charge and Ecuador win a free-kick in the Qatar half.
1' The ball is immediately propelled forward by the hosts into the Ecuador box, but Torres clears the danger for El Tri.
1' We're under way in the 2022 World Cup.
Senegal are the last FIFA World Cup debutant to win their first ever match at the tournament, beating defending champions France 1-0 in the 2002 edition.
Alfaro names a team that is stacked with talent and plenty of international experience for El Tri for their opener. Valencia and Estrada are expected to lead the line in a 4-4-2 formation. Mendez and Caicedo anchor the middle of the park ahead of Torres and Hincapie in the backline. Ecuador have a strong spine to rely on to counter the energy of the hosts tonight.
Qatar have made three changes to their side from their win over Albania last time out. Al Haydos returns to skipper the side, while Khouki and Afif also slot into the line-up. Salman, Alaa and Asad make way from the team and drop to the bench,
ECUADOR SUBS: Moises Ramirez, Alexander Dominguez, Robert Arboleda, Jose Cifuentas, William Pacho, Carlos Gruezo, Ayrton Preciado, Xavier Arreaga, Angel Mena, Jeremy Sarmiento, Diego Palacios, Alan Franco, Djorkaeff Reasco, Jackson Porozo, Kevin Rodriguez.
ECUADOR (4-4-2): Hernan Galindez; Angelo Preciado, Piero Hincapie, Felix Torres, Pervis Estupinan; Romario Ibarra, Moises Caicedo, Jhegson Méndez, Gonzalo Plata; Michael Estrada, Enner Valencia.
QATAR SUBS: Yousef Hassan, Meshaal Barsham, Mohammed Waad, Tarek Salman, Ahmed Alaa, Ali Asad, Mohammed Muntari, Musaab Khidir, Ismaeel Mohammad, Khalid Muneer, Salem Al Hajri, Aseem Madibo, Naif Al Hadhrami, Jassem Gaber, Mostafa Meshaal.
QATAR (3-4-3): Saad Al Sheeb; Abdelkarim Hassan, Boualem Khoukhi, Bassam Al Rawi; Homam Ahmed, Abdulaziz Hatem, Karim Boudiaf, Pedro Miguel; Akram Afif, Almoez Ali, Hassan Al Haydos.
Ecuador are competing in the World Cup for a fourth time and return to the competition after failing to reach the tournament in Russia four years ago. Gustavo Julio Alfaro's men finished in fourth place during CONMEBOL qualifying to secure their spot in Qatar, finishing narrowly ahead of Peru and Colombia. La Tri are unbeaten in their last seven matches, but have drawn six of those, including a goalless draw against Iraq last time out. They will want to start the tournament on the front foot.
Qatar are competing in the World Cup for the first time and will have the eyes of the world on them as the host nation to kick off the tournament. They did qualify automatically as hosts, but they have been in good form ahead of the competition, reeling off four wins on the bounce in friendlies, including their 1-0 win over Albania last time out. A host nation has never lost the opening game in eight attempts, so Felix Sanchez and his team have a lot to live up to tonight.
Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the first match of the 2022 World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium.