After more than four years of waiting, the Qatar 2022 World Cup finally began. The kickoff was given by the host country and Gustavo Alfaro’s Ecuador, who won 2-0 with two goals from their captain Enner Valencia, who also had a goal disallowed for an advanced position just three minutes into the first half. It was the only game this Sunday, while this Monday there will be three and, starting on Tuesday, four will be played per day (at 7, 10, 13 and 16 in Argentina) until Monday, November 28.
The figure of the match was Valencia who, in addition to scoring the two goals for his team, was the cause of the three warnings that the rival team saw in the first half. The Qatari defense could not do anything against the power of the 33-year-old striker from Fenerbahce of Turkey, who played an almost perfect game and, incidentally, scored his fifth goal in just four World Cup games, which gives him an average 1.25 per match.
The man from San Lorenzo is the top scorer in the history of the South American team with 37 celebrations in 75 games. Gone are Agustín Delgado with 31 in 71 matches; Eduardo Hurtado with 26 in 74; Christian Benítez with 24 in 59; Alex Aguinaga with 23 in 109; and Felipe Caicedo with 22 in 68.
The first validated goal came at 16 ‘. Valencia took advantage of a great deep pass to go hand in hand with goalkeeper Saad al Sheeb, although he then tried to avoid it and was shot down, generating the first World Cup penalty, which also led to the first warning and the first goal . The cold definition from 12 steps not only put his country ahead, but also made the striker his team’s all-time top scorer in World Cups, surpassing Agustín Delgado’s three in South Korea-Japan 2002 and Germany 2006.
The second was at 31 ‘and was also the work of the former West Ham striker from England. He received a precise cross from winger Ángelo Preciado and, with a brilliant header aimed at the right post of the goal defended by Al Sheeb, gave the team led by Argentine Gustavo Alfaro 2-0 to leave with a comfortable result at halftime. Then, in the complement, there were several opportunities to stretch the result, but none of them came to fruition.
Ecuador is at the top of the positions thanks to its victory and because the other members of the group did not play. They will do it precisely this Monday, to complete the first day: it is about the Netherlands and Senegal, who will be measured from 13. Qatar, for its part, was at the bottom of the table and will have to raise its head quickly if it intends to continue with aspirations of qualifying for the round of 16.
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.