FIFA World Cup 2022, Ecuador humble Qatar 2-0: Key stats
Enner Valencia starred with a brace as Ecuador overpowered hosts Qatar in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Sunday. After an initial goal got disallowed due to VAR, Ecuador found the opener through a penalty in the 16th minute. Ecuador grew with each passing moment and quickly found the second through Valencia's header sometime later. Here's more.
Valencia scripts these numbers
Valencia had a night to remember. His brace raced him to 37 international goals for La Tri in 75 appearances. Valencia is now the highest scorer for Ecuador at the World Cup with five goals. Besides, the 33-year-old Fenerbahce forward is having a season to remember. He has scored 15 goals in 22 appearances, including 13 goals in Super Lig.
Valencia helps Ecuador overcome Qatar 2-0
Valencia scored the opener from an acrobatic shot by Felix Torres. However, the effort was termed offside after a lengthy check on VAR. Ecuador found the lead soon after their ace forward was brought down in the box. Valencia made no mistakes from the spot and converted the second through a sensational header. Valencia dominated the match as Qatar failed to impress.
Key match stats
Valencia clocked six shots, including three on target. Qatar managed five shots but failed to land a single one on target. Ecuador had 53% of the ball possession and had 486 passes with an accuracy of 84%. Both nations made 15 fouls each.
Some more notable records from the match
As per William Hill, this was just the second time an Ecuadorian scored multiple goals in a WC match. Valencia was at the helm the last time as well (vs Honduras, 2014). Ecuador now own a 2-1 win-loss record against Qatar (D1). Their previous meet saw Qatar dole out a 4-3 beating in an international friendly in October 2018.
Unique record scripted in the match
As per Opta, the 2022 edition has become the first ever World tournament to see the first goal be scored from the penalty spot, courtesy of Ecuador captain Valencia.
Contrasting records for Qatar
As per Opta, Qatar became just the third team to play their first-ever World Cup match while hosting the tournament, after Uruguay (1930) and Italy (1934). As per Squawka, Qatar became the first host nation to lose their opening fixture in World Cup history.
Ecuador slam these records
Ecuador have kept a clean sheet in each of their last seven matches in all competitions (W3 D4), with Argentina's Julian Alvarez the last player to score against them in March. Most notably, Ecuador scored twice in the first half of a WC match for the first time.
Ecuador's Brighton link
As per Squawka, no team has more players in Ecuador's 2022 WC squad than Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion (Pervis Estupinan, Moises Caicedo, and Jeremy Sarmiento).