An hour into the opening match of the Football World Cup 2022 a persistent clapping broke out in block 143 at the Al Bayt Stadium. It is ongoing with a line of 7 men all wearing the traditional white thobe and previously long the 5 rows in front combined in, maybe 40 people in overall. It never lengthened from there but nonstop for a minimum of 10 minutes. It gradually became clear that the supporters were clapping along with the seconds on the clock. Is this what reaches for entertaining when the one beer available is Bud Zero?
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Was this the worst initial game at a Football World Cup final? It was certainly a contender and the competition stats were damning: The 11 shots in the match (5 for Qatar, 6 for Ecuador) were the fewest of any Football World Cup match since records started in 1966. The lively pre-tournament conversation had cast Qatar’s Masia-reared manager Felix Sanchez as the man who would carry competitive tiki-taka to the hosts. As this match path, some of that cheerful crystalized into belief. Qatar is the Asian champion, the refs would assuredly be in their favor, and hosts always over-perform. Not on this proof.
Predictably the competition did not sound like a European match. There was mistaken applause for an agricultural clearing of lines and a large cheer for a block from Abdelkarim Hassan as Gonzalo Plata watched to breeze previous. Behind the goal, a whole block of Qatari quasi-ultras dressed mostly in their squad’s maroon was having a well-coordinated disco. That block had been unloading during the initial ceremony, mischievously you might wonder if its dancers had traded leotards for football shirts at its end and were today being paid overtime.
Additional traditional expressions of football fandom were on the show if you watched around the concourses. You would have to be very hardhearted not to answer to the faces of children wearing that unique football-attending mix of emotions: thrilled and slightly frightened. This is the soft stuff at the heart of Gianni Infantino’s misguided concepts about the power of the game. Then somewhat hopes of the hosts going on a magical run were tempered first.
Qataris rose dazed next tackles, watching like they had just taken their initial shot to the chin after moving up a weight class. Their great expectation up front Akram Afif was dropping ridiculously deep to get on the ball and his squad was 2 goals down after 31 minutes, both beautifully taken by Enner Valencia.
Sure, tournament truisms keep on indestructible, 1 is you won’t go far lacking a solid keeper. Saad Al-Sheeb does not aspect like that guy. He gave away a penalty and flapped horribly in the build-up to what looked similar to the opening goal, but it was overturned via var, Michael Estrada offside by a tiny margin. Estrada requirements to do something approximately his toenails, for the reason that it was very tight,” held his administrator, Gustavo Alfaro.
And so, the tedium unfolded. One dreadful shot from Hassan might actually have finished up 26 rows back, i.e., row z. The ‘ultras’ matched but had little to rhythmically clap, aside from Almoez Ali nearly joining with a header towards the end of the first half. Half time gave a hap to come again. allow make some sound”, screeched the enthusiastic stadium announcer. Little was upcoming. “Come on, you can do improved than that,” he begged. There was no significant variation in the manufacture of noise. Tough crowd.
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The people here did not view like those riding the newly-built Metro, with far additional in the thobe than anywhere else across the city. Possibly there was a sense of distrust that their squad, who they know are capable of additional, were making such heavy work of a match they have expended 12 years making for. Captain Hasan Al-Haydos tried to get them going in the tunnel but watched like a reluctant squad leader on an Apprentice task going south.
After the break, Ecuador expertly killed off the match as a living entity. Generously, the Qatari supporters were slow back to their seats. As the half wore on it became clear that several would not be returning. Uniform the ultras had importantly thinned in number.
This squad can perform better
Qatar manager Felix Sanchez booked he had been hard-working to care. “Truth be said I had sufficient work during the competition,” he thought. “We felt backed and braced by our followers. We expect for the following match people will be talented to feel prouder. They know this squad can achieve better and they will support us until the conclusion. We are sad for the reason that we couldn’t donate to this great atmosphere, to this party.”
It became a match played out in previously empty seats in the apathetic stillness of the desert. The eager broadcaster returned to trumpet an attendance of 67,372. No additional than half were left by then, and even fewer saw Qatar’s best attempt, sub-Mohammed Muntari lashing just over.
At the end hello Qatar full-back Homam Ahmed was stationed on the touchline. He put his hands on his thighs and knelt to finish the Adidas Al Rihla ball, peering at it for 30 seconds. All this wait, all this training, and this is how he felt after the opening night. Pending back to himself, he steps back towards his players. He left the ball behind.
The communication from Infantino and other key stakeholders in this dubious tournament has been strong: direct on the football. After this Qatar supporters will be asking: do we have to?
FIFA WC: Ecuador defeat hosts Qatar in cup opener
Ecuador comprehensively defeated Qatar 2-0 in the initial game of the Qatar Football World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday. From the opening moment, Qatar made a disappointing start to their Football World Cup campaign and became the initial hosts state to lose their initial match. Football coach Felix Sanchez-led’s squad went into the opening-half break two goals down as Enner Valencia netted opening from the penalty spot and then with a header to put Ecuador in complete control of the game.
There was to be no miraculous comeback at the Al Bayt Stadium, nor was there any sign of important football by the hosts. Qatar’s expectations of making it out of Group A today rely on them getting results against Senegal and the Netherlands. Qatar’s debut started in inauspicious fashion, as Ecuador had the ball in their net inside three minutes.
Enner Valencia thought he had put Ecuador in front in the fourth minute with a header from close range next Qatar goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb was caught out of the spot. However, next to a lengthy VAR squad analysis, Valencia’s goal was ruled out, much to the bemusement of Ecuador’s players. Supporters were also left puzzled as no description was given at the time. Still, a subsequent replay displayed that Michael Estrada’s foot and knee were marginally offside during the build-up.
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