Valencia leads Ecuador to 2-0 win over hosts Qatar in World Cup opener

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Enner Valencia’s two first-half goals led Ecuador to a dominant 2-0 victory over host Qatar on Sunday in the opening game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The home nation froze on their big night with an error-strewn display that left them as the first World Cup hosts to lose their opening game.

Valencia, who had already had a third-minute header ruled out by VAR for offside, slotted in the tournament’s opening goal from the penalty spot in the 16th minute after being brought down by nervous-looking goalkeeper, Saad Alsheeb.

He powered home a 31st-minute header for the second and the South Americans then cruised home as an outclassed Qatar struggled to mount any meaningful attack and had only a fluffed header by Almoez Ali to show for their limited efforts.

The other teams in Group A, Senegal and the Netherlands, meet in one of three games on Monday.