Enner Valencia’s two first-half goals led Ecuador to a 2-0 win over Qatar on Sunday as the homeland froze on their big night with a display strewn with mistakes that left them as the first World Cup hosts to lose their opener.
Valencia, who had already had a third-minute header ruled out by VAR for offside, scored the first goal of the tournament from the penalty spot in the 16th minute after being knocked down by nervous goalkeeper Saad Alsheeb.
He powered home a 31st-minute header for the second. The South Americans then headed home as an outclassed Qatar struggled to mount any meaningful attacks and had only a fluffy title from Almoez Ali to show their little efforts.
The other teams in Group A, Senegal and the Netherlands, will face each other in one of three matches on Monday.