Enner Valencia scored three first-half goals, but one was disallowed for offside, as Ecuador easily beat Qatar 2-0 at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.

The first World Cup held in the Middle East began with Qatar failing to impress, becoming the first host nation to lose their opening game of a World Cup, despite having been together in camp six months to the start of the tournament.

Enner Valencia’s close-range header was ruled out for offside by the video assistant referee in a dramatic start to the game, but the South Americans broke the deadlock shortly after.

Qatar goalkeeper Saad al-Sheeb brought Valencia down in the box, and the Fernabache striker converted the penalty.

Valencia scored another header before halftime, leaving the Al Bayt Stadium deafeningly quiet at the break.

Valencia scored another header before halftime, leaving the Al Bayt Stadium deafeningly quiet at the break.

The former West Ham player, however, was forced to leave the game due to a knee injury. Ecuador will hope it isn’t serious enough to keep him out of games against Senegal and the Netherlands.

Ecuador have made an excellent start, but they must not become complacent, as Senegal and the Netherlands are also in the group and are strongly tipped to finish in the top two.

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