Qatar vs Ecuador – World Cup 2022: Live score, team news and updates
Qatar vs Ecuador LIVE: The World Cup hosts are set to kick-off the tournament in their first-ever match at the finals as they target shock victory in the Group A clash
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the World Cup opener between Qatar and Ecuador, including coverage of the opening ceremony beforehand.
Well… let’s just say there are some perks of hosting the World Cup.
Qatar’s qualification was guaranteed given they are the host nation. Had that not been the case, they may have struggled to secure a place at the tournament. They lost to the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Brazil in the Copa America.
However, this month’s international window brought a win over Bulgaria and a draw with Slovenia so maybe they are starting to show some form at the right time.
England fans remain unconvinced by Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions after under-par performances against Italy and Germany in the Nations League, but despite their recent poor results they travel to Qatar as strong contenders to end their 56-year wait for a second triumph.
Brazil, meanwhile, are the bookies’ favourites to win the tournament for a sixth time while questions persist over the reigning world champions, France, after they narrowly escaped relegation from their Nations League group.
And now, as fans across the world pick their favourites, dark horses and surprise packages among the minnows, SofaScore has raised the stakes in the pre-tournament discussion with an exciting predictor game – and it’s FREE!
TRY IT OUT BELOW…
Qatar and Ecuador have faced each other once and it was the impending hosts who emerged victorious – winning 4-3 at home in 2018.
Both sides will be looking to make an impact in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup. Ecuador will be eager to get some points in the bag considering their second game is against Holland on November 25.
There are three and a half hours until kick-off but that hasn’t stopped the Ecuador fans from flocking to the stadium to soak up the atmosphere before the opening game of the 2022 World Cup!
Qatar’s fixture against Ecuador will take place at the Al Bayt Stadium – which is located in Al Khor City, 35km north of Doha.
The Al Bayt Stadium has a capacity of around 60,000, divided over three tiers. The venue – which was purposefully built with the World Cup in mind – also has a retractable roof.
During the World Cup, the stadium will host several group stage matches, of course including the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador.
The stadium will also host a round of 16 tie, a quarter-final clash, and a semi-final showdown. However, the final will not take place at the Al Bayt.
Not long to go now until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar begins! Al-Bayt Stadium is ready to host the opening game of the tournament between Qatar and Ecuador…
Al-Bayt Stadium is all decked up and ready for our fans 🇶🇦🤩#Qatar2022 #AlAnnabi #AllForAlAnnabipic.twitter.com/xoqEvGAHNX
It could be a battle of the ‘star men’ this afternoon. But, who will challenge Afif’s poster boy status? Enner Valencia.
Valencia is regarded as Ecuador’s star man. He has experience of playing in the Premier League with West Ham and Everton.
The 33-year-old is also regarded as a goal threat – having found the back of the net 35 times in 70 appearances.
Valencia – who now plays in Turkey for Fenerbahce – scored four goals through qualification, while team-mate Michael Estrada of MLS side DC United scored six goals.
So, who is Qatar’s poster boy for the tournament? Well, that’s simple… Akram Afif.
The 26-year-old will play a starring role for Qatar in the 2022 World Cup. He is relatively unknown but he will be looking to impress on the international stage.
The winger – who can also play up front – played for Belgian side Eupen in 2015 before becoming the first Qatari-born signing in LaLiga history when he moved to Villarreal in 2016.
However, things didn’t go according to plan for Afif in Spain. As a result, he returned to Qatar to play for Al Sadd. Since then, he has scored 75 goals and registered 62 assists in 118 games.
The prize for the tournament’s top scorer is always fiercely contested – with each country’s talisman looking to add the individual accolade to their list of honours.
England’s star striker Harry Kane won the Golden Boot following the World Cup in Russia in 2018. He will be looking to defend his title during the tournament in Qatar.
However, he will face stiff competition from the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Neymar and more.
As a result, Sportsmail have decided to look at those who will be in contention for the Golden Boot following the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
REAL MORE BELOW…
Gustavo Alfaro took charge of Ecuador’s national team in 2020 and guided them to a fourth place finish in the South American qualification standings – not bad eh?
The 60-year-old manager definitely won the fans over as they were automatically awarded a place at the World Cup in Qatar.
Domestically, Alfaro has previously managed the likes of Boca Juniors, Tigre and Al-Ahli – enjoying spells of success with each of them.
However, he will have a big job on his hands at the 2022 World Cup considering the last time Ecuador played in the showpiece tournament was in 2014.
Felix Sanchez will be responsible for guiding Qatar through the 2022 World Cup – and what a big responsibility that is. Taking charge of the home nation is never easy.
Sanchez – who began his career as a coach within the youth system at Barcelona – will be expected to pull something out of the bag. However, even the best magician would struggle.
Sanchez has been in charge of the national team since 2017 and oversaw their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
But in 2019 he led them to the AFC Asian Cup title for the first time in the country’s history and has taken them to various other international tournaments – like the 2019 Copa America and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup. However, neither ended well for Qatar.
Goalkeepers: Alexander Dominguez, Hernan Galindez, Moises Ramirez.
Defenders: Pervis Estupinan, Angelo Preciado, Piero Hincapie, Xavier Arreaga, Diego Palacios, Jackson Porozo, Robert Arboleda, Felix Torres, William Pacho.
Midfielders: Moises Caicedo, Jose Cifuentes, Alan Franco, Jhegson Mendez, Carlos Gruezo, Gonzalo Plata, Angel Mena, Ayrton Preciado, Romario Ibarra, Jeremy Sarmiento.
Forwards: Enner Valencia, Michael Estrada, Djorkaeff Reasco, Kevin Rodriguez.
Goalkeepers: Saad Alsheeb, Meshaal Barsham, Yousef Hassan
Defenders: Pedro Miguel, Musaab Khidir, Tarek Salman, Bassam Al-Rawi, Boualem Khoukhi, Abdelkarim Hassan, Homam Ahmed, Jassem Gaber
Midfielders: Ali Asad, Assim Modibo, Mohammed Waad, Salem Al-Hajri, Moustafa Tarek, Karim Boudiaf, Abdelaziz Hatim, Ismail Mohamad
Forwards: Naif Alhadhrami, Ahmed Alaaeldin, Hassan Al-Haydos, Khalid Muneer, Akram Afif, Almoez Ali, Mohamed Muntari
One performer we are sure of is Jung Kook of South Korea, who is one of seven members of the boy band BTS. His performance was confirmed on the band’s official Twitter account.
But, who performed at the 2018 edition of the tournament in Russia?
The 2018 World Cup in Russia kicked off with a ceremony in Moscow headlined by British pop star Williams and Russian soprano Aida Garifullina.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Gianni Infantino also gave speeches at the opening ceremony.
The opening ceremony will take place later today and don’t worry… Sportsmail will be bringing you lots of live updates!
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 2pm UK time, which is two hours before Qatar vs Ecuador’s 4pm kick-off.
The ceremony was initially scheduled to take place before Qatar’s first game on November 21, with Senegal vs Holland the original opening match of the tournament.
That would have meant two games – being Senegal vs Holland and England vs Iran – would have taken place before the opening ceremony.
The decision to change the opening fixture, which was made only in August, came after pleas from the hosts, allowing Sanchez’s men to take part in the curtain-raiser.
If you’re interested in getting stuck into the minute-by-minute coverage of the opening ceremony… check out our other live runner here!
Hello and welcome to Sportsmail’s coverage of Qatar’s fixture against Ecuador! We will be bringing you all the build-up, team news and live updates from the game.
The home side are the underdogs for the opening match of Group A. Felix Sanchez and his side remain relatively unknown. They were guaranteed qualification given they are the host nation.
However, they did register a win over Bulgaria and a draw with Slovenia in their recent fixtures.
Therefore, they will be looking to make a splash in front of their home crowd and pick up some points early on before facing Senegal and Holland.
Meanwhile, Gustavo Alfaro’s side finished fourth in the CONMEBOL qualifying tournament and showed they were defensively solid by keeping six consecutive clean sheets.
Ecuador even managed to secure a 1-1 draw against both Argentina and Brazil during the qualifying stages. Therefore, they will be looking to assert their dominance against Qatar early on.
Make sure you stay tuned!
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