Qatar began its job as the host of the FIFA World Cup with a stupendous opening ceremony but could not replicate the same verve on the pitch as its team fell to Ecuador in the opener at Al Bayt Stadium.

The match itself was moved a day earlier to give Qatar the biggest spotlight in front of the world.

The home side looked flustered under the weight of the occasion with Enner Valencia capitalising on their errors to score both goals for his side during the 2-0 win.

Things could have been worse for the hosts. Valencia had the ball in the back of the net after just the third minute after goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb failed to clear a cross but the goal was disallowed for a marginal offside call.

The 32-year-old failed to learn from his mistake and then brought down Valencia in front of the goal with the striker easily putting away the resulting penalty in the 16th minute.

Just 15 minutes later he put away a wonderful header from Angelo Preciado’s cross to put the game away.

Qatar’s best chance came at the end of the half with Almoez Ali putting his header wide after being left unmarked in the box but later judged to be offside anyway.

With the win already in the bag, the second half was played at a very slow pace as Qatari fans exited the stadium in droves before the final whistle.

In Group A, Qatar still has to play the Netherlands and Senegal after already their loss to Ecuador meaning the prospects of them exiting the World Cup without a point is a very real possibility.

Meanwhile, two games will take place today with England taking on Iran at 6:00 PM (PKT) and the Netherlands facing Senegal at 9 PM (PKT).

Previous articleUN climate summit adopts ‘loss and damage’ fund
Next articleNovak Djokovic wins the ATP Finals