Qatar Star Ali Starts World Cup Opener Against Ecuador

Qatar striker Almoez Ali was named in the starting line-up for the hosts’ opening match of the 2022 World Cup against Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.

Coach Felix Sanchez opted to play three at the back, with Ali joined up front by Akram Afif.

The 26-year-old Ali was the hero of Qatar’s 2019 Asian Cup triumph, scoring nine goals.

Ecuador boss Gustavo Alfaro named captain Enner Valencia in the team, with in-form Brighton man Moises Caicedo in midfield.

Qatar, playing at the tournament for the first time, are hoping to avoid becoming the first home nation in men’s World Cup history to lose their opening game.

Qatar (5-3-2)

Saad Alsheeb; Pedro Miguel, Bassam Hisham, Boualem Khoukhi, Abdelkarim Hassan, Homam Ahmed; Karim Boudiaf, Abdulaziz Hatem, Hassan Al Haydos (capt); Almoez Ali, Akram Afif

Coach: Felix Sanchez (ESP)

Ecuador (4-4-2)

Hernan Galindez; Angelo Preciado, Felix Torres, Piero Hincapie, Pervis Estupinan; Gonzalo Plata, Moises Caicedo, Jhegson Mendez, Romario Ibarra; Enner Valencia (capt), Michael Estrada

Coach: Gustavo Alfaro (ARG)

Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)

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