The opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup was one of them Ecuador Fans will remember it for years to come. For the host country Qatarthey want to put that out of their minds before their next game against Senegal on Friday.
Here’s what happened in Sunday’s World Cup and what to watch out for tomorrow.
Ecuador 2, Qatar 0
Qatar became the first host country to lose their opening game of the World Cup 2-0 to Ecuador. The host nations had 16 wins, six draws and no defeats in their opening games on Sunday.
Qatar now need three points against the Netherlands and Senegal, respectively, who are eighth and 18th in the world rankings.
Ecuador, meanwhile, collected three valuable points in a top-heavy group.
goal of the day
Even with his arms outstretched, Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb couldn’t stop Enner Valencia’s perfectly placed header. It was Valencia’s second of the day.
Valencia scores Ecuador’s second goal
Enner Valencia pulled in a nice header in the 31st minute to put Ecuador firmly in front.
Must see moment
Before Valencia scored the World Cup opening goal from the penalty spot – and the header that followed – he scored the first of his hat-tricks. Had the goal come, he would have become only the third player in World Cup history to score a hat-trick on the opening day of the World Cup.
But the goal was wiped out when the VAR review ruled the game offside.
Watch the rest of the top Qatar-Ecuador fixtures here.
Things really heat up on Monday with three games scheduled, including the opener for the United States.
England vs. Iran, 8 p.m. ET on FS1
England have not won an international match since March 29. That, combined with the disappointment on the World Cup stage so far, has meant many people have lowered their expectations of what is, on paper, one of the most talented squads at the tournament .
A convincing win against Iran – a team expected to have a strong fan presence – would turn some of the Three Lions’ doubters into believers; a draw or a loss would only add more fuel to the fire.
Senegal vs. Netherlands, 11 p.m. ET on FOX
Before a knee injury forced Sadio Mané to withdraw from the tournament, the match between Senegal and the Netherlands was widely viewed as a tiebreak for the top of Group B. Although that could still be the case at the end, the Netherlands need to assess their chances better than at the beginning of the week.
United States vs. Wales, 2 p.m. ET on FOX
If we assume that the best case scenario for USA is a draw against England, then a win against Wales is a necessity. Not only that, history doesn’t bode well for teams who lose their opener in the group stage. Both teams are aiming for three points.
“FIFA World Cup Now” looks ahead to Monday
How far will the US go?
FIFA World Cup Now show’s Sacha Kljestan, Jimmy Conrad and Warren Barton break down USMNT’s opening game against Wales.
Be sure to check back after every matchday of the 2022 FIFA World Cup!
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