World Cup 2022: Ecuador open scoring with penalty after goal

Ecuador bagged the first goal of the 2022 World Cup, scoring a penalty 16 minutes into the tournament’s opening game against hosts Qatar.

Enner Valencia converted from 12 yards in cucumber-cool fashion, having earlier seen a goal ruled out by VAR (with the help of the new semi-automated offside technology) for a baffling offside decision (opens in new tab).

Valencia – who’s previously played in the Premier League for Everton and West Ham – was brought down by Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb, leaving referee Daniele Orsato with no choice but to give the foul.

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He then doubled his country’s lead with a simply sublime header from Angelo Preciado’s cross just after the half-hour mark.

These were the 33-year-old’s fourth and fifth World Cup goals, following three at the 2014 tournament in Brazil – the previous edition for which Ecuador qualified.

Only one of the past six World Cup curtain-raisers has finished 1-0: Senegal’s shock victory over holders France in 2002.

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