The 2022 World Championship will open with the match between the hosts Qatar and Ecuador. The match will be held at the Al Bayt Arena, a stadium with a capacity of 60,000 spectators and located in the northern part of the capital Doha. In the FIFA ranking, the Qatar national team occupies the 50th place, Ecuador – the 44th.
The opening date was pushed back by one day to preserve the tradition and open the tournament with the host country’s match.
Qatar will be playing in the World Cup for the first time, the team has been preparing for this tournament for a long time, both from an infrastructural and sporting point of view, the team behind the top 100 has progressed rapidly and is ranked 50 now, which is a great indicator considering their football history.
Xavi Hernandez, who coached the Qatari club Al Sadd, has contributed to the progress, and the national team is mainly composed of Al Sadd players. In 2019, Qatar won the Asian Cup, the biggest achievement in their history.
The goal of the head coach of Qatar, Felix Sanchez, will be to get out of the group. In addition to Ecuador, Qatar’s opponents will be the Netherlands and Senegal.
“We will have three matches, we have enough information about the opponents, we know that they are on the higher level in terms of history, individualists and legionnaires. They are favorites on paper, maybe they are already planning three points, but we will try to show a good result, which will bring us great joy “, – Felix says
We must keep in mind Akram Afif, Al Sadd’s 25-year-old winger, who has been named the best player in Asia, played the lion’s share in winning the cup in 2019, scoring one goal and providing 10 assists.
With an average age of 25, Ecuador is the youngest team from South America and one of the youngest at the World Cup in Qatar. Ecuador had a great qualifying campaign, finishing fourth behind Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. They have lost just once at home, thrashing Colombia 6-1, beating Uruguay, picking up four points from two games against Chile, and picking up a point against Argentina and Brazil.
The main star of the team is 21-year-old Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, who provides balance and power to the Ecuadorian team.
Ecuador is coached by Argentine Gustavo Alfaro, who uses the traditional 4-4-2. In 2006, Ecuador reached the round of 16, and now they will try to achieve a better result.