Qatar-Ecuador Free Betting Tips
Qatar is the smallest country to host the FIFA World Cup, but easily the most controversial; allegations of bribery and corruption emerged shortly after FIFA awarded them the hosting rights in 2010, and they have since faced intense pressure over a number of issues, including their treatment of migrant workers and environmental concerns.
With the country’s human rights record and stance against homosexuality making headlines around the world, former FIFA president Joseph Blatter admitted earlier this month that awarding them the tournament was “a mistake.” Whatever the rights or wrongs, this will be the first time a World Cup has been held in November and December, making this territory unfamiliar to all and uncomfortable for many.
Under their coach of five years, Felix Sanchez, the Qataris have opted for continuity and have prepared for their World Cup debut by playing numerous friendlies this year, currently stringing together a six-match unbeaten streak (G5, E1 — includes unofficial friendlies) that began with a creditable 2-2 draw against Chile. They have also proven their worth in official competitions, finishing third in last year’s Arab Cup (host team). It should also be recalled that the Qatar team won the last edition of the AFC Asian Cup (2019).
That experience and their Copa America and Gold Cup appearances should help Qatar in their clash against Ecuador, who are competing for the fourth time in a World Cup finals, and who finished fourth in CONMEBOL qualifying for Qatar 2022 (G7, E5, P6). La Tricolor also showed solidity in their subsequent matches (G2, E4), but each of those four draws was 0-0, so Argentine coach Gustavo Alfaro will need to find the key to unlocking their attacking potential if they are to become the first team to beat the host nation in a World Cup opener.
Another dull draw would be unusual, as the last World Cup to record a goalless draw in the opener was Argentina 1978. Moreover, the era of the home side playing the opening match (from 2006 onwards) has provided plenty of entertainment. Qatar will now look to emulate Germany (G 4-2 against Costa Rica in 2006), Brazil (G 3-1 against Croatia in 2014) and Russia (G 5-0 against Saudi Arabia in 2018), who pleased their fans at the start of the competition.
Key battle: Almoez Ali (42 goals) is Qatar’s all-time leading scorer, and having opened the scoring in each of their last three matches, he could be looking to make more history with the national team. To do so, he will need to beat Ecuadorian goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez, who has now gone six consecutive clean sheets.
Fast Fact: Ecuador has registered more corner kicks than its opponent in seven of its last eight matches.
World Cup Trivia: Qatar is the 80th nation to compete in the World Cup finals and the first country to debut as host since Italy in 1934.
Ecuador-Win Odds: 2.00
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