Cape Town – Welcome to the opening day of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. IOL Sport will bring you all the live updates on match days via our Live Blog!
OPENING MATCH (Group A)
Sunday, November 20: Qatar v Ecuador – 18:00
It will be a baptism of fire for Qatar, who because of their host status, have qualified automatically for the 2022 World Cup. They will make their World Cup debut with Spanish coach Felix Sanchez Bas guiding their fortunes.
Qatar are looming as soon-to-be history-makers as the host nation has never lost an opening match since 2006.
Ecuador will make their return to the World Cup finals after an eight-year absence. Their best result was a Round of 16 appearance, in 2006.
Clean sheets have been the theme for Gustavo Alfaro's men in their warm-up period too, as Ecuador have remarkably recorded six shut-outs from six games since the start of June.
On the flip side, they have only scored twice in six matches after four ended goalless.
Players to watch:
Qatar: Saad Al Sheeb (goalkeeper), Abdelkarim Hassan (left-back), Hassan Al-Haydos (striker).
Ecuador: Piero Hincapie (defender), Pervis Estupinan (defender), Moises Caicedo (midfielder).
The teams have played against each other twice, with both teams recording a victory.