FIFA World Cup 2022™ hosts Qatar make their final tournament debut in the opening match, a Group A encounter with South American qualifiers Ecuador, who are appearing at their fourth World Cup – all of them in the 21st century – and playing against Asian opponents at the tournament for the first time.
Qatar, the reigning Asian champions and first debutant FIFA World Cup™ hosts since Italy in 1934, have a competition record to protect as no host country has ever lost its opening game at the finals. Furthermore, only one previous host country – South Africa in 2010 – has failed to progress beyond the FIFA World Cup group stage. Ecuador have participated in three previous FIFA World Cup final tournaments – 2002, 2006 and 2014 – reaching the knockout stage once, in Germany 16 years ago.
Key facts The host country have never lost their opening match in any of the previous 21 editions of the FIFA World Cup (W16 D6 – NB: there were two hosts in 2002). The last time a host country failed to score in their opening match at a FIFA World Cup was in 1970 (Mexico 0-0 Soviet Union).
Qatar won all three of their group stage matches at the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™ in November/December 2021 Enner Valencia scored all of Ecuador’s three goals on their last FIFA World Cup appearance in 2014. He is their joint top-scorer at the tournament with Agustín Delgado, who scored two goals in 2006 and one in 2002 Ecuador have lost only one of their last 15 international matches (W5 D9)
Match 1 Kick off: 16:00 (local)
Date: 20th November, 2022
Venue: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
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