The long anticipated wait for FIFA World Cup 2022 ends today with the home side Qatar locking horns with Ecuador later in the evening.
While there has been a fair amount of focus on the off-field issues in the build-up to the tournament, it will be the on-pitch action that will look to grab everyone’s attention. It will be Qatar’s first ever appearance in a major international tournament, as hosts get a direct entry into the World Cup. Ecuador meanwhile, have been regular participants in World Cups since 2002.
In total, Ecuador have won four games in their World Cup history and have even made it the knockout stages on one occassion, putting them at a historical advantage over their rivals on Sunday.
Here is how the two teams have fared in their last five games:
Ecuador are far from a fit team, as three of their players – Jeremy Sarmiento, Carlos Gruezo and Robert Arboleda, have been injured and their presence in the game is uncertain.
As for Qatar, Akram Afif may be the only uncertainty as he didn’t play his side’s previous game against Albania.
Qatar: Saad Alsheeb, Boualem Khoukhi, Bassam Alrawi, Abdelkarim Hassan, Pedro Miguel, Abdulaziz Hatem, Hassan Alhaydos, Karim Boudiaf, Homam Ahmed, Almoez Ali, Akram Afif
Ecuador: Alexander Dominguez, Robert Arboleda, Felix Torres, Piero Hincapie, Pervis Estupinan, Jhegson Mendez, Moises Caicedo, Gonzalo Plata, Jose Cifuentes, Romario Ibarra, Enner Valencia