11/20/2022
THE 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP KICKS OFF ON SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20.
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By: Isaac Amponsah (Dr Ike) and Bright Yeboah Taylor (byt)

• The Debutants, Qatar hosts the 2006 Round of 16 Nations, Ecuador in the Group A opener fixture in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Tournament at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al-Khor on Sunday, 20th November 2022 in Qatar.

• The 2022 FIFA World Cup is the 22nd edition since the competition started in 1930 is the 1st appearance for Qatar while it is the 4th appearance for Ecuador.

• HEAD-TO-HEAD

• The Group A showdown will be the fourth meeting between the two sides, with all of the previous three have also taken place in Qatar.

Total matches played              - 3
Qatar wins                                 - 1
Goals scored                             - 6
Ecuador wins                            - 1
Goals scored                             - 6
Drawn games                            - 1

• Friday, 12th Oct. 2018 (Friendly)
Venue: Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha Qatar
Attendance: 11,480
Qatar                                      4-3 Ecuador
Akram Afif 32', Almoez Ali (brace) 36' & 67', Hassan Al Haidos 61'(pen)//Enner Valencia (brace) 66' & 70', Jose Cevallos 89'
• NB: Frickson Erazo 74' & Enner Valencia 90' of Ecuador were red (♦) carded.

• 25th February, 1996 (Friendly)
Qatar                                      1-2 Ecuador

• 18th February, 1996 (Friendly)
Qatar                                      1-1 Ecuador

• MATCH FACTS:

• Qatar are currently ranked 50th by FIFA lastest rankings whilst as Ecuador are ranked 44 on 6th October, 2022. 

• Qatar most caps is Hassan Al Haidos with 169 games while Ecuador's most cap player is Ivan Hurtado with 168 games.

• Qatar top scorer for the National team is Mansoor Muftah (81 caps) and Almoez Ali (85 caps) with 42 goals each while Ecuador's top scorer for their National team is Enner Valencia with 35 goals (74 caps).

• Ecuador appeared for their first FIFA World Cup tournament in the 2002 edition alongside China, Senegal and Slovenia that increased the number of Nations to 69.

• Since the inception of FIFA World Cup, 79 National teams have competed at the Final tournaments, and if Qatar kick-start their game against Ecuador on Sunday, 20th Nov. 2022, the number will become 80 since 1930.

• Brazil is the only Nation to have appeared in all 22 tournaments to date since 1930.

• Since the commencement of the tournament in 1930, eight (8) Nations have won the tournament, with Brazil been the most successful Nation in the competition winning five (5) occasions (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002). 

• Germany (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014) 
• Italy (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006) 
• Uruguay (1930, 1950)
• Argentina (1978, 1986)
• France (1998, 2018)
• England (1966)
• Spain (2010)

• The inaugural winners of the tournament is Uruguay in the 1930 edition whilst France are current Champions winning the 2018 edition.

• Qatar are taking part in their first ever FIFA World Cup, whilst also being first nation from the Arab world to host the tournament. 

• Qatar will attempt to avoid becoming only the second hosts to be knocked out in the first round of a FIFA World Cup, after South Africa in 2010.

• The last four (4) opening matches of a FIFA World Cup have produced a total of 17 goals, at an average of 4.25 per game.

• The 2022 edition of FIFA World Cup is the first time the tournament is kicking off on a SUNDAY since the 1982 edition, with Belgium beating holders Argentina 1-0 in Barcelona.

• Senegal are the last FIFA World Cup debutant to win their first ever match at the tournament, beating defending Champions, France 1-0 in the 2002 edition.

• Qatar have won all three of their previous matches played at Al Bayt Stadium, with an aggregate scoreline of 9-0.

• Qatar are looking to become the first nation from the AFC Confederation to win their first ever FIFA World Cup match. 10 of the previous 11 such sides have lost (including Israel in 1970), with Kuwait in 1982 the only side to avoid defeat (1-1 vs Czechoslovakia).

• Ecuador's best performance at the Word Cup to date came back in 2006 edition when they reached the Round of 16. 

• The 2006 tournament marks the only occasion Ecuador have won their opening group match, beating Poland 2-0.

• Only one of Ecuador's ten (10) matches at the FIFA World Cup has ended in a draw (W4  L5), a goalless draw with France in their last group match in the 2014 edition.

• The average age of Ecuador's starting XIs during CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying was 25 years and 334 days, comfortably the youngest of any South American side. 

• Ecuador SCORED 27 goals in the qualifying process, their highest tally in a single qualifying edition for the World Cup.

• Qatar striker, Almoez Ali was the top scorer in his side's victorious 2019 AFC Cup campaign, netting nine (9) goals (from 10 shots on target) in seven games. It's the most a player has scored in a single edition of the tournament.

• Ecuador's left back Pervis Estupinan created 22 chances for teammates during South American World Cup qualification, the most of any defender. 

√ 1930 - 13 spots (13 teams [7 from South America, 4 from Europe & 2 from North America] entered the tournament, Countries have to choose to participate).

√ 1934 - 16 spots (The 1934 world Cup was the first time in which teams had to qualify to take part. Thirty-two Nations entered the competition; 16 teams would qualify for the final tournament).

√ 1938 - 16 spots (37 teams entered 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the tournament).

√ 1950 - 16 spots (34 teams entered the qualification rounds of the 1950 FIFA World Cup, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament).

√ 1954 - 16 spots (37 teams entered the 1954 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament).

√ 1958 - 16 spots (55 teams entered the 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament).

√ 1962 - 16 spots (56 teams entered the 1962 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament).

√ 1966 - 16 spots (70 teams entered the 1966 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament).

√ 1970 - 16 spots (75 teams entered the 1970 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament).

√ 1974 - 16 spots (99 teams entered the 1974 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament). 

√ 1978 - 16 spots (107 teams entered the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament).

√ 1982 - 24 spots (109 teams entered the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 16 spots in the final tournament).

√ 1986 - 24 spots (121 teams entered the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 24 spots in the final tournament).

 √ 1990 - 24 spots (116 teams entered the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 24 spots in the final tournament, including the host, Italy and Argentina as the reigning World Cup Champions, who were both granted automatic qualification).

√ 1994 - 24 spots (147 teams entered the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 24 spots in the final tournament, two places reserved for the host nation, United States, and the defending Champions, Germany).

√ 1998 - 32 spots (174 teams entered the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament, two places were reserved for the host nation, France and the defending Champion, Brazil).

√ 2002 - 32 spots (199 teams entered the 2092 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament).

√ 2006 - 32 (197 teams entered the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament. In 2001, FIFA ended the automatic qualification of the reigning Champion, so Brazil became first to participate in qualifying tournament. The host (Germany) retained their automatic spot).

√ 2010 - 32 spots (205 teams entered the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament, a spot was reserved for the host nation, South Africa).

√ 2014 - 32 spots (203 teams entered the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament, one place reserved for the host nation, Brazil).

√ 2018 - 32 spots (210 teams entered the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament, a spot was reserved for the host nation, Russia).

√ 2022 - 32 spots (206 teams entered the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification rounds, competing for a total of 32 spots in the final tournament, a spot was reserved for the host nation, Qatar).

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