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World Cup match day 1 game thread Qatar vs Ecuador

How to watch and preview of the first match

Qatar v Ecuador: Group A - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Amiri Guards are seen outside the stadium prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar
Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

The 2022 FIFA World Cup begins today with the host nation Qatar (a well-known controversial and oppressive regime) facing off with Ecuador, a country that was under investigation for using an ineligible player. Traditionally host nations win their opening match and it is Qatar’s best chance for a result. It is also likely that Qatar could be the second host team to not advance out of the group. South Africa in 2010 was the only host to not advance so far.


November 20th - Qatar vs. Ecuador, 10:00 am CT

November 21st - Senegal vs. Netherlands, 10:00 am CT

November 25th - Qatar vs. Senegal, 7:00am CT; Netherlands vs. Ecuador, 10:00am CT

November 29th - Ecuador vs. Senegal, 9:00am CT; Netherlands vs. Qatar, 9:00am CT

How to watch: Fox Sports 1 and Telemundo


Qatar, the host nation that is notorious for exploitation will hope to advance to the knockout stage but are favorites to finish last in their group. With not having to qualify for the World Cup (other than having a lot of money), Qatar has played a variety of decent teams in preparation. With five straight wins over Albania, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. On the flip side of those preparation games, Qatar has lost the last six games against World Cup-bound teams. Qatar is also the reigning Asian Cup champion from 2019.

Led by captain Hassan Al-Haydos and head coach Felix Sanchez, the first match versus Ecuador will be their best chance to get a historic win.

FIFA Ranking: 50

Predicted Group Finish: At best third.

One to Watch: Almoez Ali is the best pure goalscorer on this team. He is a 26-year-old striker for Al-Sadd player. He has been at his best playing in a two-man front and positioned off the shoulder of a center back.


Qatar XI: Al Sheeb, Al-Rawi, Khoukhi, Hassan, Pedro Miguel, Hatem, Boudiaf, Al Haydos, Homam Ahmed, Alm. Ali, Akram Afif


Ecuador’s path to the World Cup has also been marred by scandal although not like the host nation's abuses. Ecuador finished fourth for the final qualification spot out of CONMEBOL. They were just two points above Peru in the fifth place spot that lost to Australia in the inter-confederation playoffs. The controversy comes from Ecuador’s use of an ineligible player. It seems that it was an unintended move by Ecuador. Chile protested and Ecuador survived the challenges to remain in the World Cup but will start with a minus 3 points deficit for the next World Cup. Their head coach, Gustavo Alfaro is relying on more youth,

FIFA Ranking: 44

Predicted Group Finish: At best third.

One to Watch: Gonzalo Plata plays for Real Valladolid and is a very pacey winger. He has been used mostly off the bench to run at tired defenders and scored three times for an aging Ecuador side. The 22-year-old plays direct and can be dangerous on the break.


Prediction: Qatar gets the win, they have used their power to give their team a long camp and that could give them an advantage.