Qatar and Ecuador stick with trusted lineups

Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro also names a predictable lineup with Moises Caicedo anchoring the midfield and Enner Valencia leading the attack

Reuters
Published : 20 Nov 2022, 04:44 PM
Updated : 20 Nov 2022, 04:44 PM

Hosts Qatar's top scorer Almoez Ali and fellow striker Akram Afif lead the line against Ecuador in Sunday's World Cup opener as coach Felix Sanchez stuck with stalwarts from a settled squad that has had longer than most to bond and prepare. 

Experienced midfielder Hasan Al-Haydos, who can also play on the wing, took the captaincy for the World Cup debutants and 2019 Asian Cup winners at the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt stadium. 

Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro also named a predictable lineup, with Moises Caicedo anchoring the midfield and top scorer Enner Valencia leading the attack as captain. 

The South Americans were, however, without defender Byron Castillo, left at home to avoid further controversy after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled him eligible but sanctioned Ecuador for giving false information in nationality paperwork. 

Both teams also face Senegal and the Netherlands in Group A. 

Qatar: Saad Alsheeb; Pedro Miguel; Abdelkarim Hassan; Abdelaziz Hatim; Hassan Al-Haydos (captain); Akram Afif; Karim Boudiaf; Homam Ahmed; Bassam Al-Rawi; Boualem Khoukhi; Almoez Ali. 

Ecuador: Hernan Galindez; Felix Torres; Piero Hincapie; Pervis Estupinan; Romario Ibarra; Michael Estrada; Enner Valencia; Angelo Preciado; Gonzalo Plata; Jhegson Mendez; Moises Caicedo.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher