FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar makes historical past as first host nation to lose opening match

Key factors
  • Qatar 2022 World Cup opened with the hosts outclassed and embarrassed in a 2-0 defeat by Ecuador.
  • It’s the first time within the occasion’s 92-year historical past {that a} host crew has misplaced its opening recreation.
  • The 2022 occasion can be the primary time the largest soccer event has been held within the Center East.
Qatar’s first match on the World Cup led to dismay for a super-matched crew and an undesirable place in soccer historical past.
O opened with the hosts outmatched and embarrassed in a 2-0 loss to Ecuador in entrance of 67,372 followers at Al Bayt Stadium.

Within the 92 years of soccer’s greatest occasion, a number crew had by no means misplaced its first recreation.

The primary World Cup within the Center East is an opportunity for Qatar, a small Arab nation jutting out into the Persian Gulf, to showcase itself to the world.
His soccer crew, taking part in at this stage for the primary time by advantage of internet hosting the event, couldn’t match as Ecuadorian captain Enner Valencia scored each objectives within the first half.
The match happened after a colourful 30-minute opening ceremony attended by highly effective dignitaries, together with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who promoted inclusiveness and humanity residing “beneath one roof”.
For a lot of, that will imply that this World Cup was organized by an emirate the place which was the topic of robust criticism constructing stadiums and event infrastructure since Qatar received the scandal-plagued vote in 2010.
The soccer player throws a ballThe soccer player throws a ball

Ecuadorian Enner Valencia scored the crew’s first purpose from the penalty spot. Supply: Getty / Alex Livesey – Danehouse

The years-long scrutiny was by no means going to cease simply because soccer had began, however a win for the host nation would at the least shine a positive gentle on Qatar, football-wise.

In contrast, Qatar’s gamers, contemporary from spending seven months collectively in a pre-tournament coaching camp beneath Spanish coach Felix Sanchez, froze in entrance of an expectant crowd and a disciplined Ecuadorian facet that might pose a hazard to extra distinguished opponents. subsequent weeks

Valencia thought that they had scored within the third minute once they headed in from shut vary after an acrobatic cross from Félix Torres. After a video overview of about two minutes, Ecuador’s celebrations had been lower brief when the purpose was dominated out for what seemed to be marginal offside.

Ecuador did go forward, nonetheless, within the sixteenth minute, when Valencia was introduced down by Saad Alsheeb after rounding the goalkeeper, who was cautioned for the problem. Valencia seemed nonchalant as they trotted up and transformed the kick within the backside nook.
The 33-year-old striker added his second within the thirty third when he headed in Angelo Preciado’s right-wing cross.
With Qatar’s passes typically going astray and their defensive sloppiness repeatedly uncovered, Ecuador had no issues sustaining the lead, as Sánchez was left defenseless in his technical space and the native followers fell silent.

There have been loads of empty seats for the second half, which was virtually an train in injury limitation for Qatar.

The opening ceremony is a nod to Qatari heritage

Qatar’s Bedouin roots, embodied in a tent-shaped stadium, had been on show because the nation’s emir opened the World Cup in a ceremony the place he kissed his father’s hand and welcomed the world to soccer’s greatest occasion.
“From Qatar, from the Arab world, I welcome everybody to the 2022 World Cup,” mentioned Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
“How stunning it’s that individuals can put apart what divides them to have a good time their variety and what unites them.”

Then fireworks exploded from the roof of Al Bayt Stadium, 44 km north of the capital, Doha.

Earlier, the near-full stadium erupted in applause as Sheikh Tamim arrived on the stadium flanked by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
Sheikh Tamim waved to the gang and bent to kiss the hand of his father, former ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who abdicated in 2013, making manner for his son.

Then the lights dimmed and three camels, dancers and a Qatari singer named “Dana,” sporting a conventional batola, a leather-based masking worn by some girls within the Gulf area, entered the pitch.

American actor Morgan Freeman adopted together with Ghanim Al Muftah, a 20-year-old Qatari who was born with a uncommon illness that impairs the event of the backbone.
Mr Freeman sat on the pitch subsequent to Al Muftah.
“How can so many nations, languages ​​and cultures come collectively if just one manner is accepted?” Mr. Freeman informed the gang.

“Whenever you name right here, we welcome you to our house,” Al Muftah mentioned, referring to the “bayt al sha’ar,” or tent, that the nomadic Bedouin of the Arabian Peninsula used as a shelter, which impressed the stadium’s design.

Qatar v Ecuador: Group A - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022Qatar v Ecuador: Group A - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

American actor Morgan Freeman (left) made an look through the opening ceremony. Supply: Getty / (Photograph by Michael Regan – FIFA/FIFA by way of Getty Photos)

The ceremony featured video footage of Sheikh Tamim as a toddler taking part in soccer within the desert, which appeared supposed to counter the argument by Qatar’s critics that the Gulf Arab state has no soccer custom.

Singer Jungkook of Ok-pop band BTS joined Qatari singer Fahad Al-Kubaisi to carry out Dreamers, a brand new track from the event.
High Western leaders didn’t attend, as Qatar is beneath intense scrutiny for its human rights file.
Among the many attendees was the Secretary Basic of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.

The managed calm contained in the stadium contrasted with experiences of chaos on the fan competition at Al Bidda Park in Doha.

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