Nov. 20, 2022 coverage of the World Cup

By Mike Hayes, Maureen Chowdhury and Matt Meyer, CNN

Updated 2:35 PM ET, Sun November 20, 2022
26 Posts
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2:27 p.m. ET, November 20, 2022

Our live coverage has ended. Read more about the World Cup 2022 opener here.

2:06 p.m. ET, November 20, 2022

The best photos from the World Cup opener

From CNN Digital's Photo Team

Ecuador celebrates after Enner Valencia scored on a penalty shot.
Ecuador celebrates after Enner Valencia scored on a penalty shot. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Take a look at photos from the opening match, where Ecuador defeated host nation Qatar 2-0.

Fans watch Sunday's match from a fan zone in Doha, Qatar.
Fans watch Sunday's match from a fan zone in Doha, Qatar. (Petr David Josek/AP)

Valencia slots a penalty past Qatari goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb to open the scoring in the 16th minute.
Valencia slots a penalty past Qatari goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb to open the scoring in the 16th minute. (Robert Michael/DPA/Picture Alliance/Getty Images)

A family watches the opening match from their home in Doha.
A family watches the opening match from their home in Doha. (Ibraheem Al Omari/Reuters)

Valencia thought he scored the opening goal in the third minute of Sunday's match. But after video review, Valencia's header was disallowed as it was deemed that an Ecuador player was offside in the buildup.
Valencia thought he scored the opening goal in the third minute of Sunday's match. But after video review, Valencia's header was disallowed as it was deemed that an Ecuador player was offside in the buildup. (Shaun Botterill/FIFA/Getty Images)

See more of the best photos from the 2022 World Cup.

1:43 p.m. ET, November 20, 2022

Ecuador's president celebrates World Cup match victory

From CNN's Hira Humayun

Ecuador’s president Guillermo Lasso tweeted in support of his country’s victory in the World Cup opening match against host Qatar on Sunday.

“When we Ecuadorians find ourselves inspired and prepared like the players of the soccer team, we can build all the victories we dream of. This is the true national encounter. Let's keep going @LaTri, the whole of Ecuador supports you,” he tweeted. 

He went on to tweet, “ECUADOR MAKES HISTORY! When leadership is clear, has a vision, and works to achieve it, it makes history as TRI!”

1:40 p.m. ET, November 20, 2022

Ecuador defeats Qatar in World Cup opener, 2-0

Ecuador's Enner Valencia celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot.
Ecuador's Enner Valencia celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot. (Manu Fernandez/AP)

The host nation of World Cup 2022, Qatar, was bested in its debut, losing to Ecuador 2-0.

Ecuador did all its scoring in the first half. And it was Enner Valencia who netted both goals for La Tri. Valencia converted a penalty in the 15th minute. Then he got his second later in the half, with an elegant header that found the bottom left corner of Qatar's goal.

With his two goals, Valencia became his country’s all-time leading scorer, with 37 goals in 75 national team appearances.

The South American country has now won eight straight international matches and 15 of its last 16.

The hosts struggled to come up with offense in the match. Qatar fired five shots at Ecuador's goal with none hitting the target.

Prior to Sunday, no host nation had lost its World Cup opening match in the previous 21 editions of the tournament.

Next up for Ecuador is the Netherlands on Friday. Qatar will meet Senegal in its second group stage match, on Friday as well.

Here are the matches slated for tomorrow at World Cup 2022:

  • England vs. Iran
  • Senegal vs. Netherlands
  • USA vs. Wales

Click here for the full schedule.

2:00 p.m. ET, November 20, 2022

Empty seats as Ecuador dominates Qatar with ease 

From CNN's Ben Church

Spectators leave Al Bayt Stadium before the end of the Qatar-Ecuador match.
Spectators leave Al Bayt Stadium before the end of the Qatar-Ecuador match. (Robert Michael/DPA/Picture Alliance/Getty Images)

All the excitement pre-match is slowly draining away from the stadium and there are noticeably more empty seats than in the first half. 

Qatar has looked particularly nervous throughout and can’t seem to string any passes together. It seems like the occasion got to be too much for them, and some fans have had enough. 

We still have the Ecuadorian contingent making a lot of noise in their striking yellow shirts as they try, over and over, to start "the wave." Qatar’s fans don’t seem up for it, though. 

Captain and goalscorer Enner Valencia has been notably better than anyone else on the pitch. This appears to be fading away into a comfortable Ecuador win.

Can the hosts mount a comeback? Judging by what I’ve seen so far, I wouldn’t count on it.

1:59 p.m. ET, November 20, 2022

Ecuador coasting with a 2-0 lead in the 2nd half

Qatar's Pedro Miguel challenges Ecuador's Pervis Estupiñán for the ball.
Qatar's Pedro Miguel challenges Ecuador's Pervis Estupiñán for the ball. (Darko Bandic/AP)

Ecuador maintains its two-goal advantage over Qatar more than halfway through the second half.

La Tri has been in control the whole match. Ecuador has taken five shots, with three of them on goal.

Qatar has struggled to create offense in their first-ever World Cup match. The hosts have managed just three shots, none on goal.

Ecuador 2, Qatar 0.

12:22 p.m. ET, November 20, 2022

Second half begins in the World Cup opener between Ecuador and Qatar

Ecuador fans are seen inside the stadium.
Ecuador fans are seen inside the stadium. (Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images)

The second half has begun in the opening match of the 2022 World Cup featuring Ecuador and host country Qatar.

Ecuador takes a 2-0 lead over Qatar into the second half. No host country has lost a World Cup opener (16 wins, 6 draws, 2002 had two hosts). Ecuador is unbeaten in its last seven matches (2 wins, 5 draws).

Qatar is making its World Cup debut. Ecuador is making its fourth World Cup appearance.

11:56 a.m. ET, November 20, 2022

Ecuador is rolling. Up 2-0 over Qatar at the half

Ecuador celebrates after Enner Valencia scored on a penalty kick in the first half.
Ecuador celebrates after Enner Valencia scored on a penalty kick in the first half. (Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images)

Ecuador is dominating the host country in the opening match of the 2022 World Cup.

Ecuador appeared to take a very early lead when they found the back of the Qatar net in the 3rd minute. But the goal was ruled out after a check by the video-assisted referee (VAR) deemed an Ecuadorian player offside.

La Tri was not deterred by the call, however. In the 15th minute, Ecuador's Enner Valencia won a penalty when he was taken down in the box by the Qatar goaltender, Saad Al Sheeb. Valencia stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty, giving his squad a 1-0 lead.

Just a quarter-hour later, Valencia scored his second of the match in the 31st minute with a glancing header into the bottom left corner of Qatar's net.

Ecuador goes into the break in the opening match up 2-0 on the hosts.

11:40 a.m. ET, November 20, 2022

Ecuador makes it 2-0 over Qatar in the 1st half

Ecuador's Enner Valencia celebrates scoring the team's second goal.
Ecuador's Enner Valencia celebrates scoring the team's second goal. (Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

Ecuador's Enner Valencia got his second goal of the match with a glancing header into the bottom left corner of Qatar's net.

Ecuador now has a commanding lead over the host country. They lead Qatar 2-0 in the first half.