08:30 PM IST: Hello and welcome everybody to the live commentary for the FIFA World Cup 2022 group stage game between Qatar and Ecuador.

Qatar are participating in the FIFA World Cup for the first time in its history, and their performance against South American powerhouse Ecuador will hopefully create a good impression. This World Cup has been marred by controversy, and the only way to compensate is to show that they can compete with other major nations. In World Cups, where teams rewrite history and no nation should be underestimated. The Sanchez Bas men will give their entire efforts on the field when they play Ecuador.

Ecuador will also have an opportunity to make a statement after an eight-year absence from the event. However, they have only advanced from the group stage once, and it will not be an easy match as the entire stadium will be in support of their host nation, but Ecuador have experience and top-class players for these major events and will be confident of petering out a victory in their opening encounter.

Qatar form (all competition): L-D-W-W-W-W

Ecuador form (all competition): W-D-W-D-D-D

Players to watch 

Hassan Al-Haydos

One of Qatar’s most tenacious players will lead his squad from the front. Hassan Al-Haydos is one of Qatar’s greatest goal-scorers, and this competition will give him a chance to display his abilities. The 31-year-old possesses all of the characteristics of a striker and will be a threat to Ecuador. His positional play and late box dashes could be an advantage, as he likes to draw defenders out of their position and provide space for his teammate. All eyes will be on him as he prepares for his first World Cup.

Enner Valencia

The Fenerbahce striker will command the attack, and the team will rely on his goal-scoring mastery to help the side find the net. Also, Enner Valencia is Ecuador’s all-time best scorer and he is tied with Agustin Delgado for the leading scorer at the World Cup with three goals. The 33-year-old is a potential danger in the box and will aim to capitalise on any mistakes made by Qatar. He is a high-quality striker who also contributes to team building; Ecuador will expect him to score in all matches.

Head-to-Head stats 

Matches: 1

Qatar: 1

Draw: 0

Ecuador: 0

Predicted Lineup

Qatar predicted lineup (4-4-2): 

Al-Sheeb; Miguel, Al-Wari, Salman, Hassan, Ahmed; Hatem, Boudiaf; Al-Haydos; Ali, Afif.  

Ecuador predicted lineup (4-2-3-1):

Dominguez; Preciado, Torres, Hincapie, Estupinan; Gruezo, Caicedo, Cifuentes; Plata, Valencia, Ibarra

Qatar vs Ecuador: Prediction 

Because football is a volatile sport where anything can occur, both nations will be energised to start their first match with a positive outcome. Qatar wants to demonstrate that they belong among the top nations, with players eager to win.

Despite the reports of bribery involved in the game, Ecuador look superior on paper, but should not be overeager in this match and should easily win its first match.

Prediction: Qatar 1-2 Ecuador

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