The hosts of the 2022 Fifa World Cup got off to a disastrous start, being humiliated by Ecuador in Al Bayt.
Felix Sanchez’s men had been in camp for six months to prepare for the tournament and work on tactics, but a nervous and disjointed performance resulted in a Group A loss.
With Africa Cup of Nations champions Senegal and three-time finalists the Netherlands on the way, Qatar’s game appeared to be the easiest on paper, but they completely outplayed them.
Enner Valencia’s close-range header was ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee in a dramatic start to the game, but the South Americans broke the deadlock shortly after.
Qatar’s erratic goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb brought Valencia down in the box, and the ex-West Ham striker converted the penalty.
Valencia scored another header before halftime, leaving the Al Bayt Stadium deafeningly quiet at the break.
Many fans who had left the stadium at halftime did not return, leaving the stadium nearly half-empty for much of the second half.
It contributed to a lackluster atmosphere both on and off the field, as Romario Ibarra’s curling shot was deflected by Al-Sheeb.
Almoez Ali and captain Hassan al-Haydos were both substituted with 20 minutes remaining, and the team failed to register a shot on goal.
Follow Clicks ‘n Likes On Facebook for more updates