FIFA World Cup: Ecuador beat Qatar by 2 goals in the opening game

Skipper Enner Valencia gave Ecuador the perfect start in the Fifa World Cup when he scored twice in the first half to hand hosts Qatar a 2-0 loss on Sunday.

The attacking left-winger, who plies his trade in Turkey playing for Fenerbahçe, effortlessly tapped in the first in the 16th minute from the penalty spot, but it was his second goal that demonstrated why he is held in high regard at the club football level.

The 33-year-old, who always looked threatening during the first half in which the South Americans ran circles around the home team, headed home a brilliant goal off a looping long-cross.

It could have been a red-letter day for Valencia, who was a milk boy as a youngster, but his opening goal in the early exchanges for disallowed for a controversial offside following an intervention by VAR.

After the Valencia brace, Ecuador appeared to take their foot off the pedal and allowed Qatar some territorial advantage which could not be put to good use.

Then in the 76th minute, the talismanic skipper was taken off the field after having struggled with his right knee for most of the first half.


Khaleej Times

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