Qatar supporters were clearly unimpressed with the hosts' 2-0 defeat to Ecuador in their World Cup opener on Sunday.
Captain Enner Valencia found the net inside three minutes, although that goal was controversially disallowed for offside. The host looked nervous and struggled against an opposition possessing experience and quality.
Valencia then scored an early penalty and added a well-taken 31st-minute header to secure the points. With their side two goals down going into the break it emerged that all the pre-match excitement slowly drained away with thousands of fans leaving the Al Bayt stadium during the interval and did not return for the second half.
?? ❌ Qatar became the first host nation ever to lose their opening game of the World Cupand the fans didn't hang around to watch the end... pic.twitter.com/jOjzsAIzXQ— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 20, 2022
The first World Cup in the Middle East is a chance for Qatar, a tiny Arab country jutting out into the Persian Gulf, to showcase itself to the wider world. Its soccer team, playing at this level for the first time by virtue of hosting the tournament, couldn’t live up to the moment as Ecuador captain Enner Valencia scored both goals in the first half.
The match took place after a colorful 30-minute opening ceremony — fronted by Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman and attended by powerful dignitaries including Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — that promoted inclusivity and mankind living “under one tent.”