Our prediction for this World Cup 2022 match:
Hosts Qatar kick off their 2022 World Cup campaign with a match against Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Felix Sanchez’s men defeated the likes of Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, and Albania in Non-FIFA friendlies, but the game against La Tri will be anything but a walk in the park for the home side. A man to watch in the home team will be Al-Duhail attacker Almoez Ali, who has netted 42 goals in 85 appearances for the national team.
The South American side, on the other hand, played out a goalless draw with Iraq in their last warm-up game, with the team keeping their sixth consecutive clean sheet. Since Qatar are likely to adopt a cautious approach in the World Cup opener, we are tempted to put our money on under 2.5 goals. Leon defender Byron Castillo has been left out of the Ecuador WC squad, while both William Pacho and Kevin Rodriguez surprisingly made the cut. Qatar defenders should have Fenerbahce striker Enner Valencia at bay.
Highlighted Player (Enner Valencia):
Enner Valencia is a prolific 26-year-old striker who plays for West Ham United in the English Premier League. Nicknamed “Superman”, Valencia started his career with Emelec in 2010. He enjoyed league success with Emelec and was awarded the “Copa Sudamericana Golden Boot” in 2013.
He also played for Pachuca in Mexico winning the Liga MX Golden Boot in 2014. His goal-scoring record and pace caught the attention of West Ham which bought him for an estimated £12 million in July 2014. At international level, Valencia made his debut in 2012 and has represented the country in 24 games so far. He is one of Ecuador’s top ten goal scorers of all time with 14 goals.
He has already represented Ecuador at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 Copa America tournaments. Enner Valencia is Ecuador’s joint top scorer – along with Agustin Delgado – in World Cup tournaments with three goals.
Highlighted Team (Ecuador):
Ecuador had endured difficult times in footballing terms having been considered to be one of the more struggling football nations in South America, but the Tri have managed to transform themselves into a team that can never be taken lightly at the international scene.
Ecuador has taken part in three of the 22 World Cups with 12 position they achieved in 2006 in Germany being their best result so far. La Tricolor head into Copa America Centenario tied at the top of CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifying table and their chances of making it through from group B have been increased with good results and alike performances.
Ivan Hurtado played for El Tri since 1992 to 2014 and former centre-back remains the most capped international with 168 games to his name. Ecuador captain Walter Ayovi is the active player with most games in the national team, while Felipe Caicedo with 19 goals is the top scorer of Gustavo Quinteros’ side.