'Terrible start' turns Qatar dream into nightmare

‘Horrible begin’ turns Qatar dream into nightmare

Host nation: Qatar Date: November 20-December 18 Reporting: Stay on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 5 Stay, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds and BBC Sport web site and app. Day-to-day TV listingsFull protection particulars

“Concentrate on soccer” was Fifa’s message to competing nations earlier than the beginning of the World Cup.

After the consequence from the competitors’s opening match, everybody related to Qatar will need to neglect their final 90 minutes of soccer for a minimum of the subsequent week.

Felix Sanchez’s web page was simply crushed 2-0 by Ecuador, fail to get a shot on the right track all through the competition.

They usually turn out to be the primary host facet within the historical past of the match to lose their opening match.

A day that began with real optimism of their World Cup dream coming true, quickly become a nightmare for gamers and followers alike.

Glittering opening ceremony earlier than kick-off

Tons of column inches and web site copy have been revealed about Qatar’s proper to host the World Cup, when Sepp Blatter revealed his identify from an envelope 12 years in the past.

Questions concerning the nation’s human rights and remedy of LGBT individuals overshadowed the build-up, however there was pressure exterior the sector within the hours earlier than Sunday’s recreation.

There have been loads of Qatari cultural references within the stadium and on the opening ceremony

Safety personnel lined the ramp as much as the doorway on camels and horses, whereas conventional Arabic dancing with tablah (drums) was carried out close to the turnstiles.

Though the locals have been extra subdued, the Ecuador supporters who had traveled over have been in positive voices, singing and chanting for his or her facet.

Earlier than kick-off at Al Bayt, a stadium formed like a Bedouin tent, a glittering opening ceremony was led by actor Morgan Freeman and verses from the Koran have been learn by Ghanim Al Muftah, who was born with the uncommon caudal regression syndrome.

There was additionally the discharge of a brand new single by world celebrity Jung Kook of BTS, who carried out alongside Qatari singer Fahad Al Qubaisi.

On the fan pageant in Doha, spectators had gathered to observe the sport on the massive display screen when their day lastly arrived. So many 1000’s turned out that followers have been turned away an hour earlier than kick-off.

Nonetheless, they streamed out of the subway stations, solely to be redirected to a different large display screen away from the fan pageant.

Little had been written beforehand about how Qatar are Asian champions and have an skilled squad with 5 gamers incomes 100 caps or extra.

And simply as nicely as a result of that they had a shocker.

“Clearly, this isn’t what we have been hoping for,” Sanchez stated afterward. “Now it is our flip to investigate this match, focus and attempt to neglect in the present day.

“There aren’t any excuses. Congratulations to Ecuador who deserved to win. There’s quite a lot of room for enchancment. We did not play at our greatest stage. Possibly the duty or the nerves obtained the most effective of us.

“A horrible begin, this decides the remainder of the sport. Now we have to neglect concerning the stress.”

Qatar followers depart early in numbers

Qatar fans
Qatari followers in maroon t-shirts behind the objective made probably the most noise

Qatar might have conceded their first World Cup objective when Enner Valencia headed in from shut vary, however they have been reprieved by an offside name noticed by the video assistant.

Nevertheless, issues didn’t enhance as ex-West Ham ahead Valencia scored from the penalty spot and added a header for a 2-0 half-time lead.

Whereas the Ecuadorians loved their day, the house supporters dressed of their conventional thobes and abayas sat largely silent, however for a pocket of followers wearing maroon shirts behind the objective.

A lot of those that left their seats at half-time didn’t return, leaving the stadium half-empty for a lot of the second interval.

It contributed to a flat ambiance that yielded only one shot on the right track within the second half.

When requested concerning the giant variety of empty seats, Sanchez stated: “Fact be informed, I had sufficient work on this recreation to take a look at this.

“Sure, we felt again and supported by our followers and I hope they’ll really feel prouder subsequent time. This nationwide staff can carry out higher and I’m positive they’ll proceed to assist us till the top of the match.

“It is from our greatest efficiency. This competitors is brief so we have now to recuperate for the subsequent recreation and hopefully it is going to be higher for us.”

But it surely does not get any simpler.

Africa Cup of Nations champions Senegal are up subsequent on Friday, rounding off Group A in opposition to the Netherlands on November 29,

Qatar might want to pull themselves collectively – and rapidly – to keep away from the behavior of changing into solely the second host nation after South Africa 2010 to fail to make it out of the group stage.

Off the sphere, the build-up to their house World Cup was mocked, on it the nationwide staff doesn’t need to be subjected to the identical ordeal.

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