The 2022 FIFA World Cup is finally kicking off! There will be only one match on opening day: Host nation Qatar welcomes “La Tricolor” South American opponent Ecuador.
How will the Qataris perform in front of the home support? Can the Ecuadorians disappoint the local supporters by defeating the host nation? This match could turn out to be one of the most important for deciding these teams’ fates in this World Cup!
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Qatar vs Ecuador
Date: 20 Nov 2022 (Sunday)
Time: 7 p.m. (Qatar time, GMT +3)
Venue: Al Bayt Stadium
|Qatar 4-3 Ecuador||Oct. 12 2018||International Friendly|
Both Qatar and Ecuador will have their full squads ready for the opening match without any injuries reported. Ecuador is expected to field a 4-3-3 formation and build attacking play from the flanks. Qatar will play a 5-3-2 and try to utilize counterattacking chances whenever possible. The young and talented Ecuadorians will finally have a big platform to showcase their high-intensity brand of football under Argentinian coach Gustavo Alfaro.
Gonzalo Plata (19), Pervis Estupiñán (7), Byron Castillo (6) and Moisés Caicedo (23) are the players to watch from the Ecuador team.
However, one major concern for Ecuador will be its poor away performance. Based on the result of the World Cup qualifiers, the Ecuadorians record fewer points whenever they play away, and today they are not only half-way around the world from home, but facing host nation Qatar.
Apart from the massive support from the fans, the Qataris will also have an advantage in that they are adapted to the local climate (expected 25C/77F, clear and dry at kickoff). It will be interesting to see how effective Qatar’s 5-3-2 formation will be against the Ecuadorians” flanking play.
Akram Afif (11) and Almoez Ali (19) will need to be clinical on the counter attack in order to help reduce the pressure on Qatari rearguard.
Since the Netherlands and Senegal are the favorites to advance from Group A, the matchup between Qatar and Ecuador becomes crucial if one is to survive. The loser of this matchup will have almost no chance left to qualify since its subsequent matches will only be more difficult, so we expect an exciting must-win match on the very first day!
Prediction: Qatar 3 - 1 Ecuador
Stats and info for this article were sourced from fifa.com and espn.com
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Which team will win the opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup featuring Qatar and Ecuador?
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