LIVE: Qatar v Ecuador | 2022 World Cup

Time: 11:00 ET Canada-USA

Ref: Daniele Orsato (Italy)

Al Bayt Stadium

Qatar and Ecuador will face each other in the opening game of the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar this weekend. The Group A match between the home nation and the South American team will take place at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor and is scheduled to kick off at 10 AM ET time on Sunday.

Qatar

Qatar are playing in their first-ever World Cup. The Maroon have never come close to qualifying for the finals, and they are playing this year because they are the host nation. Qatar, though, did win the 2019 AFC Asian Cup where they beat heavyweights Japan in the final. In a group that also has Senegal and the Netherlands, it will be extremely tough for Qatar to finish in the top two. However, a win against Ecuador in their opening game this weekend could be massive in their quest to make an impact in the tournament.

Team News:

Qatar have been preparing for their first-ever World Cup appearance in September. That was when the Qatari Stars League was suspended. Head coach Felix Sanchez has been working with his players since.

Akram Afif did not start against Albania, but the 25-year-old Al Sadd winger is likely to be included in the Qatar starting lineup against Ecuador this weekend.

Almoez Ali scored for Qatar against Albania, and the 26-year-old Al-Duhail star, who can operate as a winger or as a striker, should start against Ecuador.

Ecuador

Ecuador have been at the World Cup finals on three previous occasions. The South American side reached the Round of 16 in 2006 and will hope to cause an upset in Group A. They did reach the quarter-finals of the 2021 Copa America, but in a group that also has Senegal and the Netherlands, it is going to be tough for Gustavo Alfaro’s side to progress to the next round in Qatar. However, a win against the home nation this weekend could prove crucial in their aspirations.

Team News:

Robert Arboleda has recovered from a fractured ankle and is in line to start for Ecuador against Qatar this weekend. The 31-year-old Sao Paulo central defender played his first match since June in Ecuador’s final pre-World Cup friendly against Iraq last weekend.

Jeremy Sarmiento did not play against Iraq. That’s because the 20-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion winger has a muscular problem.

Midfielder Carlos Gruezo 27, is also doubtful after limping out of Augsburg’s defeat to Bochum within the opening half-hour last Saturday.

FT: Qatar 0-2 Ecuador | 2022 World Cup

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