“Nightmarish beginnings” for the Qatari selection according to the local press – Liberation

2022 World Cup in Qatardossier

The Qatari media showed their disappointment after their team’s lackluster performance in the opening match of the World Cup on Sunday (November 20th). The task now looks difficult for the 50th nation in the FIFA rankings.

The host team had never lost at the opening of the World Cup. Overtaken by Ecuador for the opening match, the Qatar team made local headlines on Monday for the “nightmarish start” of its World Cup. The opening ceremony was praised in the press, which also underlined the departure of the spectators well before the end of the match.

“The Bordeaux have stumbled” writes the Arabic-language daily Al Raya, “the players did not play at the required level”while Al Watan regrets “the price paid for their weakness”and evokes “the weight of responsibility and pressure”. Against Ecuador, Qatar did not weigh heavily, beaten 2-0 and outrageously dominated during the first 45 minutes, against the teammates of Enner Valencia, author of a double. The addition could have been heavier if the Fenerbahçe striker had not been disallowed a goal for a slight offside position.

Sparse grandstands

The English-language daily Qatar Tribune points out “Nightmarish Beginnings” of the Qatari national team and the “nervousness” of his goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb, author of a more than hazardous exit on the goal disallowed for offside from the 3rd minute, then sanctioned with a penalty for a foul on Valencia shortly after the quarter of an hour of play.

“The task was going to be difficult for Qatar, but the way the team collapsed against Ecuador was enough to disappoint the home fans”estimated the Gulf Times, Monday morning on its website. ‘Ecuador – 44th in the FIFA rankings – are only six places above Qatar, but last night they showed they are a long way ahead of the Asian champions’ 2019, continues the English-language newspaper. The stands were also gradually emptied during the meeting, to end up very sparse shortly before the final whistle.

An opening ceremony “spectacular”«dazzling”, “sparkling”

Same story for The Peninsula: “After becoming the first host country to lose their opening World Cup match, Qatar will face a daunting task in their bid to reach the knockout stage”, estimates the daily. The Qatari selection was “far from impressive for his World Cup debut”opposite the opening ceremony “spectacular» et “dazzling”.

This is also the ceremony “sparkling” which is the subject of the front page of the daily Qatar Tribune, captioning its Monday edition with the adjective “Extraordinaire !“. For about thirty minutes, the host country organized a ceremony reminiscent of that of the Olympic Games, with American actor Morgan Freeman as narrator and a member of the famous K-pop group BTS as headliner. A “global contemporary show that conveyed an important message from the Arabs to the whole world”according to the Qatar Tribune.

“A celebration of football in an Arab atmosphere on a global platform”according to the Secretary General of the Organizing Committee, Hassan Al-Thawadi. “I think what the world saw today through the opening ceremony of the World Cup is the best answer to the doubters”he added.



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