World Cup Group A: Qatar vs Ecuador Odds & Recap

Opener Kicks Off a Unique World Cup

⚽Qatar vs Ecuador: Game Recap⚽

Qatar 0 – 2 Ecuador

Journeyman striker Enner Valencia shone even brighter than the opening ceremony light show, as Ecuador defeated hosts Qatar 2-0 in the first game of the 2022 World Cup.

Valencia scored twice in the first half to put Ecuador in charge against the tournament hosts, after seeing a goal disallowed for offside just seconds into the match. Valencia rolled in a thunderous penalty in the 16th minute — after he was brought down in the penalty area — before powerfully heading home just after the half-hour mark.

Qatar entered the match as a significant underdog, paying +260 for their win, or +200 to draw. In the end, Ecuador prevailed with its +125 winning odds.

The 33-year old has been incredible for Fenerbahçe this season, scoring 13 goals in 12 appearances to lead the goalscoring charts in Turkey’s top league. In addition, he provided an edge in the final third, as manager Gustavo Alfaro set up Ecuador’s attack to counter and find Valencia early.

Rumors of bribery, before the match event opened, sent ripples of concern into betting markets and the football world at large. Still, Qatar entered the match as a significant underdog, paying +260 for their win, or +200 to draw. In the end, Ecuador prevailed with its +125 winning odds.

Totals’ bettors settled for the most part on a push. The anticipated low-scoring affair was lined at a total of two goals with even vig. Over bettors couldn’t catch a break to claim that third, winning goal, as play went scoreless over the last hour of the match — leaving many to reminisce about an overturned goal by Video Assisted Review in the opening minutes of the match.

As for Ecuador, they hope Valencia’s knee injury sustained in the first half isn’t too severe, since he holds the key to picking up points against Senegal and the Netherlands. On the Qatar side, they still have a huge uphill task to get out of the group after making history for the wrong reasons

📊 Team Stats 📊

QAT Qatar ECU Ecuador
47% Possession 53%
5 Total Shots 6
0 Shots on Target 3
5 Shots Wide 3
0 Shots Blocked 0
1 Saves 0
1 Corners 3
4 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
15 Fouls 15
3 Offsides 4
81% Pass Accuracy 85%
6 Dribbles 8
8 Crosses 14
10 Tackles 15

Did We Get It Right?

Below you will find all the predictions we made before the matchup, on November 14, 2022.

Qatar Make First World Cup Appearance

The FIFA World Cup is finally here and the opening match is one with multiple firsts. It’s the first World Cup match in a Middle Eastern country and hosts Qatar are making their first appearance at the tournament. Qatar will welcome Ecuador to the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday to kick off the action, which we’ll cover extensively at pointspreads.com. Let’s take a look at the Qatar vs Ecuador odds for the 2022 World Cup opening match.

Qatar vs Ecuador

Date, time (TV):
Location: Al Bayt Stadium, Al-Khor, Qatar
Streaming: FS1, Telemundo, Peacock, FuboTV

Team Standings and Odds:

Team FIFA World Ranking World Cup Qualifying Record Odds to Advance Odds to Win Group A Odds to Win World Cup
Qatar 50 N/A (Host) +400 +1500 +25000
Ecuador 44 7-5-6, 4th CONMEBOL Ev +400 +15000

Head-to-Head

Date Teams
Feb 1996: Qatar 1-1 Ecuador
Feb 1996: Qatar 1-2 Ecuador
Oct 2018: Qatar 4-3 Ecuador

Qatar and Ecuador have met three times previously and all of their matches have been friendlies. The last head-to-head matchup was in 2018 and it was a high scoring match. Qatar went up 3-0 and defeated Ecuador 4-3 in Doha. In a series of friendlies in February 1996, these soccer teams drew the first match and Ecuador won a week later, 2-1.

Qatar With Much to Prove

  • Upcoming Matches: Nov. 25 vs Senegal, Nov. 29 vs Netherlands

As the host nation of the tournament, Qatar automatically qualified for the World Cup. That means they’ve had to get creative with their matches in the lead up to the World Cup. Qatar participated in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup as guests and reached the semifinal stage before losing 1-0 to the USA. They managed to score 12 goals in five games and displayed a fair bit of potential.

Qatar shockingly managed to win the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and also made the semifinals of the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup. They lost 2-1 to Algeria but defeated Egypt in penalties in the third place match. Since then, Qatar have mostly played in friendlies without much success. In the last three years, Qatar are 0-7 vs teams that qualified for the 2022 World Cup. They lost 3-0 to a Croatia under-23 side in September but also managed to draw with Chile 2-2.

The coach of Qatar is Spaniard Felix Sanchez Bas. His influence is clear to see as Qatar try to play a possession based style. That might not exactly work vs superior opposition, so expect Qatar to have to make adjustments. Players to watch on the roster include Akram Afif and Almoez Ali. Ali is Qatar’s joint-top scorer all-time and Afif is their playmaker. Despite playing at home, the FIFA World Cup odds price Qatar as underdogs.

Ecuador Relying on Defense

  • Upcoming Matches: Nov. 25 vs Netherlands, Nov. 29 vs. Senegal

Ecuador have won at least one match in each of their three previous World Cup appearances and this match represents their best chance. The Qatar vs Ecuador odds favor Ecuador but road wins were rare for La Tri in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying. Ecuador won just two of their nine road matches as they had a significant home field advantage in high-altitude Quito.

La Tri will have nothing of the sort in Qatar but they have been quite stout on defense leading up to the tournament. Ecuador have kept clean sheets in their last six international fixtures but goal scoring has been a problem. Their last three friendlies have finished in scoreless draws, including vs Iraq last Saturday. All-time leading scorer Enner Valencia has been in great form in the Turkish league, though, and has three career World Cup goals.

After the USA, Ecuador are the youngest team in the tournament. They’re set to rely heavily on 21-year old Bayer Leverkusen center back Piero Hincapie and 21-year old Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo. Their star player could very well be Real Valladolid’s Gonzalo Plata, who is a formidable playmaker. Ecuador have their fair share of players who ply their trade in Europe’s top leagues. Pervis Estupinan and Jeremy Sarmiento also play for Brighton, while midfield lynchpin Carlos Gruezo plays for FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga.

Match Odds and Analysis:

While the Qatar vs Ecuador odds price Qatar as +250 underdogs, this is a huge match for them. They’ll be motivated for their first-ever World Cup match in front of their home fans. Qatar are no strangers to exceeding expectations but their record against top sides is concerning. Ecuador’s moneyline shows +125, while a draw sits at +220 odds. Neither team would be too upset with a draw but the matches only get more difficult from here on out.

Seven goals were scored the last time these teams met but don’t necessarily expect a shootout. The World Cup odds list the over/under goal total for the match at two goals. The over is implied to be more likely, at -130 odds, while the under stands at +110. With the defensive form Ecuador are in, they’ll be confident of keeping a seventh straight shutout.

Ecuador’s moneyline odds of +125 are the same to cover the ½-goal spread as favorites. Meanwhile, Qatar +½ is priced at -145 odds.

That’s understandable given the significant boost that host nations typically get from playing at home. In 21 previous World Cups, a host nation has never lost their first match of the tournament. Qatar will look to avoid making history for all of the wrong reasons in this one.

Qatar vs Ecuador FAQs

Where is Qatar vs Ecuador being played?

Qatar vs Ecuador is taking place at Al Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor, Qatar

When is the Qatar vs Ecuador World Cup match?

Qatar and Ecuador face off on Sunday November 20th at 11:00 a.m. EST. It’s the opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

How many times have Qatar played in the World Cup?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is host nation Qatar’s first appearance at a World Cup finals.

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