The 2022 FIFA World Cup is finally here. We’ve had to wait a little longer than usual - it’s been four and a half years since France’s 4-2 win over Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to conclude the 2018 edition - but kickoff in Doha is only a few hours away. The tournament was initially meant to start tomorrow, but apparently, no one realized that playing Qatar’s opening game at 1 PM local time wasn’t the best idea, nor was starting the tournament without the host team playing. The good news is that means the action will be starting one day earlier than planned with Qatar against Ecuador as the stand-alone event.
While perhaps not the most flashy of games - Ecuador has scored and conceded just 6 goals in its last 10 games - it promises to be a close affair that could go a long way towards determining who survives Group A along with Netherlands and Senegal - one of the most balanced groups on paper. Keep an eye on Ecuador’s young midfield core of Moises Caicedo (21 from Brighton Hove and Albion) and Jose Cifuentes (23 and a recent MLS champion with LAFC). Qatar is no slouch either, having won the 2021 AFC Asian Cup and reached the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup before a 1-0 defeat to the US.
- Qatar vs Ecuador (Group A) - 5 PM CET/11 AM ET
Who will win the opening game of the 2022 World Cup?
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