On Sunday (November 20), Ecuador did something no other country had done at the World Cup with its opening victory against host country Qatar. Ecuador’s 2-0 win made Qatar the first host team to lose its opening match for the first time in the tournament’s 92-year history.
The game was played in front of more than 67,000 fans at Al Bayt Stadium. After Ecuador was called offside, which wiped away their first goal of the game, Enner Valencia scored on a penalty kick to take a 1-0 lead. Before the first half ended, the team captain scored again with a header into the left corner of the goal.
“The credit goes to the players because of their attitude, because of their commitment, because of their form, because of their intent,” said Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro. “Because we suffered a punch when the game started when they ruled the goal out for offside. We continued looking. I think they won with clarity … I hope it’s the start of something special, which is what we want.”
According to FIFA World Cup, Valencia also became Ecuador’s all-time goal-scorer in FIFA World Cup play with his two scores.
There were no goals from either team in the second half, but Ecuador fans cheered on their players until the match was over. Qatar fans were criticized because many of them left once the first half was over.
Along with rooting their team to victory, Ecuador fans had something else in mind during the World Cup match. At one point, they started chanting “Queremos Cerveza,” which translates to “We want beer.” Two days before the World Cup began, officials announced fans would not be allowed to drink beer during the tournament.