The 2022 FIFA World Cup officially kicks off Sunday with the opening match as hosts Qatar face Ecuador in Group A. The Qataris are playing in their first-ever World Cup but have earned some experience over the last several years, playing in the Copa America and the Gold Cup. Ecuador are the surprise of South America with their fourth-place finish, earning a spot over the likes of Colombia and Chile, with Gustavo Alfaro’s team looking like a legit threat to escape the group. They are joined by the Netherlands and Senegal, who play on Monday.
Here’s our storylines, how you can watch the match and more:
How to watch and odds
- Date: Sunday, Nov. 20 | Time: 11 a.m. ET
- Location: Al Bayt Stadium — Al-Khor, Qatar
- TV: FS1 and Telemundo | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: Qatar +230; Draw +225; Ecuador +123 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Qatar: There is so much momentum and hype around this team for their first time in the tournament, and it’s important to note that they have played meaningful games. They participated in the 2019 Copa America, they were semifinalists at the 2021 Gold Cup, and they have a manager in Felix Sanchez who is impressive. The 46-year-old boss was a Barcelona youth coach and wants his team to have the ball, pass quick and move even quicker. Don’t be surprised by Qatar, because they can play.
Ecuador: This team finished in fourth in qualifying and held their own, holding onto the spot despite not winning any of their last four games. That shows you just the hot start that they had to qualifying. They can grind out results in arguably the most competitive region in qualifying in the world. They have speed, they have strength, and while they may lack discipline, they have more than enough to get out of the group.
Qatar have the home-field advantage, but Ecuador are the more talented squad. In the end, it’s a point a piece to kick off the cup. Pick: Qatar 1, Ecuador 1