The FIFA World Cup 2022 will kick off on November 20 in Qatar. On November 20, the host country will face South American nation Ecuador in the first game of the mega sports event. However, before the real football action begins, the Al Bayt Stadium will host a World Cup opening ceremony to declare the tournament ‘open.’
This World Cup features a number of firsts, including the use of the first ever temporary stadium. Doha’s Stadium 974, which was constructed from 974 reused shipping containers, will be taken down after the World Cup. The tournament is also being held in the Middle East for the first time since 1982.
In accordance with tradition, the hosts kick-off the competition, and on November 20, the 2022 edition will get underway with a Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador. Here’s everything you need to know about the two teams ahead of the first game of this edition, in which 32 countries will compete for football’s holy grail:
When and Where
Venue: Al Bayt Stadium, Qatar
Time: November 20, 9:30 p.m. IST | November 20: 11:00 a.m. ET
Head to Head:
Matches: 3 (All in Qatar)
Won by Qatar: 1
Won by Ecuador: 1
Total Goals scored: 6
Last Encounter: In an October 2018 friendly, Qatar defeated Ecuador 4-3
Coach and Full Squad
Coach: Felix Sanchez
Goalkeepers: Saad Al Sheeb, Yousuf Hassan and Meshaal Barsham
Defenders: Pedro Miguel, Mohammed Waad, Tarek Salman, Mussab Khidir, Homam Ahmed, Bassam Hisham, Boualem Khoukhi and Ismail Mohamad
Midfielders: Abdelkarim Hassan, Abdulhaziz Hatem, Ali Hassadalla, Hassan Alhaydos (Captain), Karim Boudiaf, Salem AL Hajri, Asim Madibo, Naif AbdulRaheemJassem Gaber and Mostafa Tarek Meshaal
Forwards: Ahmed Alaaeldin, Mohammed Mungtari, Akram Afif, Khalid Muneer and Almoez Ali
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro
Goalkeepers: Hernan Galindez, Moises Ramirez and Alexander Dominguez
Defenders: Felix Torres, Piero Hincapie, Robert Arboleda, William Pacho, Pervis Estupinan, Xavier Arreaga, Angelo Preciado, Diego Jose Palacios and Jackson Porozo
Midfielders: Jose Cifuentes, Carlos Gruezo, Eduar Preciado, Romario Ibarra, Angel Mena, Jeremy Sarmiento, Gonzalo Plata, Jhegson Mendez, Alan Franco and Moises Caicedo
Forwards: Michael Estrada, Enner Valencia, Djorkaeff Reasco and Kevin Rodriguez
1. Qatar is making their World Cup debut.
2. They will be hoping to avoid becoming the second host to fail to advance past the group stage. South Africa suffered a similar fate when it hosted the 2010 edition.
3. If Qatar defeats Ecuador, they will become the first AFC nation to win their first World Cup match. Senegal was the last World Cup debutant to win their first match, defeating defending champions France 1-0 in the 2002 edition.
4. Qatar has won three of their previous four matches at the Al Bayt stadium.
1. Ecuador is making their eighth appearance in the World Cup finals.
2. They were reportedly facing expulsion after fielding an ineligible player in the qualifying rounds.
3. Ecuador has competed in three previous editions, in 2002, 2006, and 2014, but has only advanced beyond the group stage once.
4. Their best performance at the FIFA World Cup was in 2006, when they advanced to the Round of 16.
Qatar in last 6 games: L, D, W, W, W, W
Ecuador in last 6 games: W, D, W, D, D, D