In their first participation in a World Cup, Qatar started on the wrong foot when they were defeated by Ecuador 2-0. The local team left something to be desired in their first match and became the first hosts to lose in the first match.
From 1930, the year in which the first World Cup was played, until today, none of the local teams lost their first game. It is worth noting that the opening match format began with the tournament played in England in 1966. In addition, between 1974 and 1998, the opening matches were played by the defending champions.
Previously, the matches were played simultaneously and there was no previous opening ceremony as we are used to seeing at each start of a different edition of the World Cup. Despite this, the balance for the locals was always positive.
Among all the first games played by local teams in the World Cups, the balance is 16 wins, 6 draws and one defeat, the recent one by Qatar at the hands of Ecuador in the twenty-third edition of the World Cup tournament.
With the beginning of the inaugural matches in 1966, a particular streak occurred: The first two matches under this format were draws. England drew goalless against Uruguay, Mexico did the same against the Soviet Union in 1970. Then the defending champion took over in the first match.
The six draws of host teams in their first duels in addition to those already mentioned were Spain in 1982 (1-1 against Honduras), United States in 1994 (1-1 against Switzerland), Japan in 2002 (2-2 against Belgium) and South Africa in 2010 (1-1 against Mexico).
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.