Now that the second day has ended, Group A standings have begun to form as Ecuador, Netherlands, Senegal, and Qatar all have one game under their belts.
Qatar v.s. Ecuador
What. A. Start.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 20, 2022
Relive all the action of the 2022 FIFA World Cup opening match with our 90' in 90" highlights ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/tqZuk3SstX
Host nation Qatar made its FIFA World Cup debut Monday as they hosted Ecuador inside the Al Bayt Stadium.
Ecuador had a golden opportunity early as a Pedro Miguel foul awarded them a dangerous free kick in the 3rd minute. Pervis Estupiñán lobbed the ball into the box as Saad Al Sheeb came off his line to attempt to clear the ball before Fėlix Torres could get there.
Torres got to the ball first, but failed to make solid contact as the ball deflected into the air. Torres eventually side-volleyed the ball to Enner Valencia, who easily headed the ball into the back of the net.
Just as it looked as if Valencia notched the tournament’s first goal, the newly implemented semi-automatic offside technology found Fėlix Torres fractionally offside in the lead-up.
Ecuador wasted no time trying to get into the game as Enner Valencia turned on the jets to get on top of a perfectly placed through ball into the box. Valencia got onto the ball and attempted to maneuver to his left to evade Saad Al Sheeb. Al Sheeb stretched out in an attempt to dispossess Valencia but got a hand full of ankle as Valencia plummeted to the pitch.
Penalty awarded Ecuador’s way as Valencia stepped up to the spot and easily slotted it into the right side of the net to give Ecuador a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.
Valencia went on to double Ecuador’s advantage in the 32nd as he headed home Angelo Preciado’s cross into the box. Valencia looked poised for a third but was unable to find it before being subbed off due to injury in the 77th minute.
Valencia went on to double Ecuador’s advantage in the 32nd as he headed home Angelo Preciado’s cross into the box. Valencia looked poised for a third but had to sub out in the 77th minute after injury.
Senegal v.s. Netherlands
On the opposite side of Group A, Senegal hosted The Netherlands inside the Al Thumama Stadium in the first competitive match between the two nations.
Despite some great chances from both sides, no one found the back of the net through the opening 45 minutes.
Just as it looked like things were heading towards a scoreless draw, Frankie de Jong got the Netherlands rolling as he lobbed a ball into the box that Cody Gakpo headed into the back of the net.
Memphis Depay was poised to add another goal in the closing seconds of stoppage time, but Eduardo Mendy denied the shot. An unfortunate turn of events for Mendy as he failed to maintain control of the ball as it bounced back into the box. Davy Klaassen got onto the rebounded shot and quickly buried the ball past Mendy and into the net!
Netherlands 1-0-0, 3 points, +2 GD
Ecuador 1-0-0, 3 points, +2 GD
Senegal 0-0-1, 0 points, -2 GD
Qatar 0-0-1, 0 points, -2 GD