Qatar 0-2 Ecuador:
Enner Valencia crashed the party with a 2-0 win over hosts Qatar in their World Cup opener, with Ecuador scoring twice.
Valencia were awarded an early goal for offside at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday but failed to heed Qatar’s warning.
The medical captain became Ecuador’s leading goalscorer at the World Cup, opening the scoring with a penalty, scoring four times and adding another shot at the end of the first half.
Ecuador have made an encouraging start in Group A, while Qatar have looked unable to hit the target in their first World Cup match.
Valencia headed La Tri in front three minutes after goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb’s free-kick, but Michael Estrada was ruled offside after a VAR review.
After 13 minutes, the striker went unchallenged and coolly dispatched Al Sheeb after the keeper brought him down without making a mistake.
Just after half an hour, Valencia capitalized on Qatar’s defensive frailty and Angelo Preciado’s stunning header from the right corner found the bottom left corner.
Qatar posed no threat, but Almoez Ali got a big nod from close range right after half-time.
Valencia needed treatment for a knee injury late in the first half, but they persevered and Ecuador equalized even after the break with Al Sheeb’s mid-range goal from Romario Ibarra.
Qatar lacked imagination and fired Mohamed Muntari despite a concern when Valencia pulled off with a knee problem on 15 minutes, giving Ecuador a rare chance late on.