The 2022 World Cup completed the first focus match in Qatar, and after Ecuador contributed 2 goals with Valencia, they finally defeated the host Qatar 2-0 and successfully got off to a good start.
During the match against Qatar , Ecuador got a free kick in the frontcourt and sent it to the right side of the penalty area in the 3rd minute. Although the goalkeeper touched the ball when he attacked, he could not clear it too far. Then Felix Torres made a barb cross in the melee in the penalty area, and Valencia took advantage of the momentum to hit the goal with a header. However, after being reminded by the video referee, the referee on duty decided that Preciado was offside first, so the goal was invalidated.
In the 15th minute of the battle, Ecuador got the ball from the Qatari player and launched a counterattack. Valencia took the through ball and scored into the penalty area and formed a semi-single-handed chance. The referee awarded Ecuador a penalty kick. Later, when Valencia personally took the penalty kick, he successfully pushed past the opponent’s goalkeeper and hit it, helping Ecuador to open the scoring 1-0.
In the 31st minute, Preciado made a cross from the right side of the penalty area. Estrada immediately responded to the pass. Then Valencia scored with a header from the back, and the ball flew into the net after brushing the goal post. Inside, helping Ecuador continue to lead Qatar 2-0. In the end, Ecuador also managed to maintain a 2-0 score until the end of the game.
“Hope it’s off to a good start”
Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro said in an interview with the media after the game that the team showed a proper attitude in the game, as well as a reasonable way of playing and the ability to organize offensive opportunities.
Elsewhere, Gustavo Alfaro shared his thoughts on Ecuador’s offside goal. “Although our first goal was disallowed, the team did not give up in the following time and continued to look for opportunities to score goals. As a result, our team relied on strength to win this opener. Hope this is a very good one. It’s a good start, and that’s what our team wants to see.”
Gustavo Alfaro also pointed out that the opening game of the World Cup is a very important game, because the whole world is paying attention to this focus game. “It’s always going to be very difficult against the hosts, but we managed to create chances to grab points, play a strong game and win the game.”