Qatar made history in Ecuador match: Why there’s nothing to be proud of

Qatar, a tiny Arab nation in the Middle East, has the opportunity to present itself to the world at the first World Cup in the region. Because of the advantage of hosting the event, its football squad was playing at this level for the first time, but they were unable to live up to the occasion as Ecuador’s captain Enner Valencia scored both goals in the first half. Qatar never had the chance to recover.

After a vibrant 30-minute opening ceremony that was attended by prominent guests, including Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Qatar vs Ecuador game began. While Qatar lost the match, it did make history in that match itself. In fact, the defeat itself is the record it broke. In front of 67,372 spectators at Al Bayt Stadium, the tournament’s hosts were outplayed in a 2-0 loss against Ecuador, making Qatar the first ever host nation to lose the first game.

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The host nation was able to advance to the semifinals in 13 out of the 21 FIFA world cups so far. Six teams have so far had the privilege of taking home the golden trophy after hosting the competition. There have only been eight host countries which have won the trophy while Brazil and Spain were unable to take advantage of their home field advantages.

Mexico, similar to Russia, achieved their best achievement in a FIFA World Cup when they twice advanced to the quarterfinals as a host country. Sweden played the final when they hosted in 1958, the best outcome by any host nation. Furthermore, Chile and South Korea performed best when they were the sole hosts, they reached the semi-finals.

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Qatar was prepared after more than ten years of work, with large portions of Doha being completely rebuilt to accommodate the fans. Prior to the first World Cup ever held in the Middle East, a spectacular opening ceremony with performances by Morgan Freeman, Jungkook and many others sent a message of inclusivity and unity.

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