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The 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked off on Monday, November 21 (Singapore time) as hosts Qatar took on Ecuador in front of more than 67,000 spectators at Al Bayt Stadium.
The Qataris eventually lost 2-0 to Ecuadorians, making them the first host nation in history to lose the opening game of the World Cup.
Qatar loses 2-0 to Ecuador to become the first ever host country to lose the opening match of the World Cup 😳 pic.twitter.com/XDVJIjnCTm
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) November 20, 2022
This was also Qatar’s first time participating in the World Cup, a feat they were able to achieve thanks to hosting the tournament.
The first goal of the match was disallowed
Just under 3 minutes into the match, Ecuador scored their first goal, courtesy of their captain and all-time leading goalscorer Enner Valencia.
However, the party in Ecuador was short-lived when a VAR check ruled that the goal was disallowed due to clear offside.
About 10 minutes after the controversial decision, Ecuador were awarded a penalty after Qatari goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb knocked Valencia down in the penalty area.
Valencia himself took the penalty kick and worked coolly from the spot, giving his team the lead.
Around the 30th minute, Valencia doubled his tally with a powerful header into the bottom left corner of the goal, securing victory for his country.
Ecuador is now at the top of the table in Group A with three points.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 20, 2022
Qatari fans left the stadium early
After Qatar conceded the two goals, disgruntled fans gradually saw Al Bayt Stadium leave.
According to the New York Times“thousands” of Qatari fans left the stadium after the break and did not return to their seats.
Photos from international media reports show a large number of empty seats in the stadium while the match was still in progress.
Empty seats tell a story as the World Cup celebration in Qatar comes to nothing.
Long before the final whistle in Ecuador’s opening match against Qatar, fans of the host country were heading for the exithttps://t.co/7itiliDzOa pic.twitter.com/5PvhiknyhD
— TBEN Press Agency (@TBEN) November 21, 2022
Top image via FIFA World Cup/Twitter.