Ecuador’s Enner Valencia scores brace against Qatar at 2022 FIFA World Cup | Photo: PTI
South American underdog Ecuador kicked off their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in style on Sunday by beating hosts Qatar by two goals. The striker from Ecuador scored a brace with a controlled penalty and a cracking head to give his side a comfortable lead in the first half.
Qatar was not looking good and was torn apart by Ecuador several times during the match. Valencia could have had a hat-trick, but an early goal after 3 minutes was eventually disallowed by VAR for offside. Ecuador kept up the pressure and was aggressive against the Middle Eastern nation, outclassing them with goals in the 16th and 31st minutes.
Valencia scored his fourth and fifth FIFA World Cup goals in the opening match at Qatar’s Al Bayt Stadium. He is the only football player from Ecuador to do so. With the brace in the very first game, he already scored a third of the total number of goals needed to win the Golden Boot for the top scorer of the last two FIFA World Cups.
Ecuador are now comfortably at the top of Group A. However, their next two opponents are tougher in Senegal and the Netherlands. The same also applies to Qatar, who will have to write an unlikely surprise to get anything from either of their next group stage matches.
Watch the highlights of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar vs Ecuador Group A match here