Ecuador changed history by defeating Qatar!
The first World Cup in the Arab world. The first World Cup in winter - Qatar World Cup is going to make history, it is already known. This time in the debut match, there is a new history. That history belongs to Ecuadorian forward Ener Valencia.
Before going to the story of Valencia, it is better to tell the scoreline of the match. That will not go down well with the Qatari fans. Ecuador made a good start in the World Cup from the 'A' group by defeating the hosts 2-0. Qatar is also the first team to lose its first World Cup match as a host nation.
Asian champions Qatar won't be able to make it onto the above two lists—there will be plenty of people betting on that. Ecuador has played in the World Cup three times before, reaching the last sixteen once (2006). Ecuador (44) is ahead of Qatar (50) in the FIFA ranking. And if there is an opportunity-seeking forward like Valencia in the Latin team, then there is no question! Al Bayt also has a Latin flavor.
That was seen in the first half. Valencia led the team by scoring a header in 5 minutes at Tuitumbur Stadium. The white camp of the stadium fell silent, the Qatari supporters. A yellow wave rose on the other side. But the drama started then! The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) said the goal was offside. Valencia were offside when Felix Torres headed in an overhead kick. Well, the goal is canceled. However, Valencia could not be kept away from getting on the scorecard. Shifting from a 3–4–3 formation to a 5–4–1 at times, Qatar's midfield could not keep Ecuador's Mikael Estrada and Valencia off the ball. And from the continuity of not being able to stop them, the first goal came in 15 minutes.
Midfielder Sebas Mendez made a pass to Valencia in the box. Qatar's goalkeeper Saad Al-Sheb committed a foul while stopping him. The referee blows the penalty whistle. Fenerbahçe forward Valencia scored the first goal in the Qatar World Cup with a cool head from the spot kick. New history is written through this goal. This is the first time in the history of the World Cup that the first goal was scored from a penalty. And see what happened, including this goal, Ecuador's last four goals in the World Cup are also Valencia's!
Three in the 2014 World Cup, and one today. It was wrong. Two today! In other words, the last five goals of Ecuador in the World Cup are Valencia's. Just 15 minutes after the first goal, Valencia scored another great header. Moises Kaiseido failed to get the ball into Qatar's box. Ecuador rightback Angelo Presaido received the ball. His cross jumped into the box and Estrada attempted a header. Ecuador can't forward but get Valencia. His head took shelter in the net. Goal! When Qatar went into the break trailing 2-0, new history was written. This is the first time in the history of the World Cup that the host country ended the first half trailing 2-0 in their first match.
It's not that Qatar didn't have a chance to score. Qatari striker Al Moez Ali found Al Haydos' cross in the box at the last minute of added time in the first half. His header went wide of the empty post on the right. Even after the break, Qatar had a chance to get back into the match. But Ecuador has the most opportunities. In the 55th minute, Qatar's defender Al Rai could not keep the ball. Mendez snatches and passes through to Ibarra. Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al-Sheb stopped his strong shot with his right foot.
In the 77th minute, Ecuador was worried about Valencia. He was digging after being injured. Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro picked him up. Valencia became the second player in the history of the World Cup to score two goals in the first half of the first match in a tournament. The host Italy's first match in the 1934 World Cup will come up in this context. Angelo Schiavio scored a brace in the first half in Italy's 7–1 win against the United States.
Can host Qatar find comfort from their first match in the World Cup? Creating a couple of chances in front of the home crowd and running after the Ecuadorian players? World Cup that or less! Not so for Ecuador. The group also includes the Netherlands and Senegal. It will be a big achievement for Ecuador if they can top these two big teams and get to the last sixteen.