Who: Qatar v Ecuador, Group A
The place: Al Bayt Stadium
When: Sunday, November 20, 7pm (16:00 GMT)
FIFA rating: Qatar (50), Ecuador (44)
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will kick off on Sunday with a conflict between the hosts and Ecuador.
The opening match and ceremony of the showpiece match, the primary to be held within the Center East, might be held on the majestic 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Qatar’s capital, Doha.
The fixture has been introduced ahead by a day to maintain with the custom of the host nation opening the competitors.
As soon as ranked 113th on this planet, Qatar’s nationwide group – nicknamed the Maroons – has risen to fiftieth within the FIFA rankings because of a string of successes in recent times, together with a shock first-ever Asian Cup win in 2019.
The group additionally made a semi-final look ultimately yr’s Gold Cup of the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Affiliation Soccer as a visitor nation.
This might be Qatar’s first look at a World Cup.
Led by Spanish coach Felix Sanchez, the Maroons hope to make it to the following spherical from a bunch that additionally contains European giants the Netherlands and African champions Senegal.
“It’s three video games, and we all know the extent of our opponent,” Sanchez informed reporters on Saturday. “On account of their historical past, their particular person expertise, their careers the place they play, they’re forward of us.
“On paper, they need to get the three factors. Possibly they rely on the three factors already. However we’re right here to indicate we could be a aggressive group. We are going to convey our ‘A sport’ and attempt to get good outcomes that may convey a lot pleasure.”
The group landed again in Doha seven days earlier than kickoff, coming back from an intensive coaching camp in Marbella, Spain.
“We wish to present the outcomes of all of our laborious work. God prepared, we’ll carry out a lot better than any sport earlier than,” Qatar captain Hassan Al Haydos informed the pre-match information convention.
The participant to look at is hard left-winger Akram Afif. The 25-year-old, who performs for Qatari aspect Al Sadd, was named Asian footballer of the yr in 2019 after his one objective and 10 assists led Qatar to the continental trophy.
Even with residence benefit, Qatar is not going to discover it simple to beat Ecuador.
With a mean age of 25, the group nicknamed La Tri have been the youngest group to qualify from South America and one of many youngest within the match.
Ecuador, ranked 44, had a powerful qualifying marketing campaign, ending fourth behind Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay and dropping simply as soon as at residence. They smashed Colombia 6-1, beat Uruguay, took 4 factors in opposition to Chile and drew with the soccer heavyweights Brazil and Argentina.
The star of the group is Moises Caicedo who performs for Brighton and Hove Albion, an English Premier League aspect. The 21-year-old box-to-box midfielder gives steadiness and defensive solidity to the younger group.
If the Maroons are to select any factors in opposition to the La Tri, they must nullify his efficient passing and penetrating runs.
Additionally preserve an eye fixed out for Gonzalo Plata, an thrilling winger who performs for Actual Valladolid in Spain.
Led by Argentinian Gustavo Alfaro, who typically favours the 4-4-2 formation, La Tri might be trying to higher their best-ever end at a World Cup, after they reached the spherical of 16 in 2006.