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FIFA World Cup: How to watch Qatar vs Ecuador

Qatar vs Ecuador: How to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup opening match live on November 20, 2022

November 19, 2022 By Ali M.
The hosts kick off the highly-anticipated tournament this Sunday, locking horns with tricky South American side La Tri in what should be an intriguing affair.

The FIFA World Cup is finally here! Sunday, November 20 sees the highly-anticipated 2022 edition kick off as hosts Qatar take on Ecuador at the Al-Bayt Stadium at 11 a.m. ET in one of the most intriguing fixtures of the tournament. 

The Middle Eastern side will have the home support behind them, but the question on everyone's mind is whether that will be enough to see the hosts make it out of their tricky group. As per tradition, Al Annabi were placed in Group A and will go head-to-head with their South American opposition, the Netherlands, and Senegal for a spot in the round of 16.

Despite the doubts, Félix Sánchez's side are one of a handful of teams that enter the competition with the title of champions. Qatar are the kings of their continent, having won the most recent edition of the AFC Asian Cup, conquering South Korea, the UAE, and Japan en route to that title. 

Not only that, but Qatar enjoyed a clean sweep as well with individual awards, winning the best player, best goalkeeper, and top scorer prizes.

And it wasn't only that tournament where the Persian Gulf nation impressed. While Al Annabi struggled in the 2019 Copa America, failing to win a single game after being invited to South America's prestigious competition, Qatar went all the way to the semifinals in the 2021 Gold Cup.

Almoez Ali and Co. faced Honduras, Panama, and Grenada in the group stage before overcoming El Salvador 3-2 in the quarterfinals. They met the USMNT in the penultimate stage and stumbled, but lost by a mere 1-0 scoreline to the eventual champions.

But how will the host nation fare in their FIFA World Cup debut? While their manager isn't getting ahead of himself, Sanchez insists that his team should enter the tournament with belief.

"Obviously, I'm not talking about Qatar winning the World Cup, but competing at a good level against those three teams is our challenge," the Spanish tactician said.

"Then this is football, and you never know what can happen."

While there has been tremendous controversy surrounding Qatar in the build-up to this event, Ecuador have faced issues of their own, with one in particular nearly getting them kicked out of the competition altogether.

After beating Chile and Columbia to a spot at Qatar 2022, the eligibility of Byron Castillo, the 27-year-old who played a part in La Tri's qualifying campaign, came into question. However, the South Americans were permitted to participate.

This will be Ecuador's fourth FIFA World Cup appearance out of the last six editions, having qualified for 2002, 2006, and 2014. However, Gustavo Alfaro's side will be aiming to make the last 16 for only the second time in their history.

Their qualifying campaign saw them finish fourth with the joint-third best defense, with only Brazil and Argentina boasting superior figures. However, The CONMEBOL side will need to improve their attack, having kept a clean sheet in all of their last six friendlies but scoring only twice. 

In fact, La Tri have not scored two or more goals in a single game in a year, which is a worrying statistic. Will Ecuador manage to break down the host nation in the 2022 FIFA World Cup opener? Tune in to find out.

Team news

Qatar: Ahmed Alaaeldin picked up a knock in the host nation's recent encounter with Albania but the Al-Gharafa man was unlikely to start for Al Annabi. Almoez Ali is all but destined to spearhead the attack and should be joined by Akram Afif. Expect the Middle Eastern nation to field a back five, with Abdelkarim Hassan at the heart of that defense.

Ecuador: Byron Castillo, the man who sparked tremendous debate, was left out of the Qatar 2022 squad after his ineligibility controversy. Moises Caicedo, Carlos Gruezo, and Jeremy Sarmiento all missed La Tri's recent clash with Iraq but that was due to joining up late with the national team, meaning all three should be back in contention. Additionally, it will be interesting to see how Brighton talent Pervis Estupinan fares on the global stage.

Key stats

  • Qatar enter this tournament on the back of a four-game winning streak but all four matches were non-FIFA friendlies.

  • Prior to that, Al Annabi had gone three games without a win, losing two and drawing one.

  • Ecuador won less than half of their FIFA World Cup qualifiers, triumphing in seven out of those 18 matches.

  • On the flip side, La Tri scored as many goals as Argentina during the qualifiers but played a game extra over La Albiceleste.

  • Nonetheless, Gustavo Alfaro's side haven't scored a single goal in any of their three matches leading up to Sunday's fixture.

  • When Al Annabi played in the 2019 Copa America and got a taste of South American football, the Middle Eastern side managed to pick up only a draw, earning a point against Paraguay, while losing every other game en route to a group-stage exit.

  • Ecuador are ranked 44th in the world by FIFA while Qatar sit in 50.

Broadcast listings


Match details, result and original broadcast info

Qatar 0 - 2 Ecuador

November 20, 2022 11:00amAl Bayt Stadium (Al Khor)

This match has ended. Below are the original Live broadcast details for this match.

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