Ecuador beat World Cup host Qatar 2-0 on Sunday in the tournament opening.

Michael Estrada of Ecuador applauds supporters after their 2-0 victory in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar.

The opening game of the first World Cup staged in the Arab world took place at the Bedouin tent-inspired Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, 50 kilometres (31 miles) outside of Doha.

In a breathless start to the match in the stadium shaped like a Bedouin tent, Ecuador’s Enner Valenica had headed the ball into the net after three minutes but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Thirteen minutes later, Ecuador did take the lead after Valencia dribbled round Qatari goalkeeper Saad Alsheeb who grabbed his shin and the referee pointed to the spot. Valencia coolly rolled home the penalty.

Valencia did not stop as he scored another goal against Qatar, which was the final goal till the end of the match.

The World Cup began as the month-long football showpiece finally got under way after a tortuous 12-year build-up dogged by off-field controversies.

Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was present in the impressive Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, 50 kilometres (31 miles) outside of Doha, to watch the host nation face Ecuador.

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