Four years after the coronation of France, football invests Qatar to crown its new king during the first World Cup organized in the Arab world, crossed by controversies on human rights, the climate impact or discrimination.
Sunday for the kickoff of this month of football, the small gas emirate had undoubtedly dreamed of the best scenario. In front of the 60,000 spectators at the Al Bayt stadium, 50 km north of Doha, the Qataris were easily dominated by Ecuador (2-0).
The Valencia weapon
For its 4th participation, Ecuador hastens to seize the offering. After a but refused for an offside which should make people talk (3rd minute), the “Tricolore” quickly found the opening (16th minute), then made the break (31st minute).
Each time thanks to the untenable Enner Valencia who provoked and converted a penalty, then widened the gap with a powerful header. Already in good shape with Fenerbahçe, the striker with 75 caps now has 37 goals… including 5 in World Cups. Touched just before half-time, the Ecuadorian tormentor was however replaced by limping in the 76th minute.
Main offensive weapon of a team that scored little, two small goals in six preparation matches, Valencia equals the Russian Dennis Cheryshev, also author of a double in the opening match, four years ago (5-0 against the ‘Saudi Arabia).
“Learn from one’s mistakes”
Qatar striker Almoez Ali said after the game: “We started the first quarter of an hour in a confused way and made some mistakes which affected the way the game went. We have to learn from his mistakes. We have to change the game. gives and we have to reproduce the level shown in the second half, with more enthusiasm and ability to reach the opposition’s goal.”
Saad Al Sheeb, the Qatar goalkeeper, reacted: “I think we didn’t play as we should in the first half and there were mistakes. In the second we were better, and I hopefully we will be united in the next two games and reduce the mistakes.”