REPORTAGE – Beyond the final result (0-2), discover what caught the attention of our journalist at the Al-Bayt stadium, for the opening match of the World Cup.
Special Envoy to Doha
It’s time for the World Cup
The best news of the evening is that the 2022 World Cup is on. In a month, on December 18 to be precise, we will know the new world champion. Maybe the holder will do the double for that matter. It would be a first since 1962. And with new glitches every day or almost, Karim Benzema forfeited for the last, the Blues are not really in the best mood… In any case, place for football, place for the game.
No, the match was not bought
Rumor has been circulating for the past few days. And if Qatar had bought Ecuador, or at least some players from the Ecuadorian selection, to ensure victory at the opening of the World Cup? The result shows that it was just wind. And that’s obviously good for the sport.
The captain of the Ecuadorian selection assumed his status by scoring the first two goals of the 2022 World Cup and the only two of this inaugural match. Two goals worth three points. Passed by there Premier League (West Ham, Everton) it is now the heyday of Fener after a hook by Mexico. Above all, he dreams of writing history with his country. With Senegal and the Netherlands in the squad, it won’t be easy. But one thing at a time. Valencia did the job on Sunday. Without a Var as ruthless as him on an offside, he could have offered himself a hat-trick…
Qatar is light
Asian champions, the Qataris were under pressure. That of a people and a state, that also of not being the first host nation of a World Cup beaten at the opening of a World Cup (so far 16 wins and 6 draws). Missed. Above all,Qatar did not show anything reassuring. Friable in all areas, and not just the goalkeeper, saved by a borderline offside at the start and at fault on the 1-0 penalty. Weak.
Sparse stands… from half-time
If FIFA announces more than 67,000 spectators, there were a few hundred places left here and there at kick-off. At half-time, some had already seen enough. The stands have emptied over the minutes after the intermission and the meeting ended in an almost empty stadium. Sad. Especially since the atmosphere was not really boiling during the rest of the time. A small kop in each camp tried to do their best, behind the two goals, without much success.
Not a good pub’ for the Mondial on the field side
If we’re talking about a show, we’ll have to go back. Already leading 2-0 at the break, the Ecuadorians didn’t push in the second half. Not worth it. And the Qataris did not have the means to put them in danger. Between a shy first period and a second act without envy, we were bored in the stands of Al-Kohr…