2022 World Cup: Looking back at opening matches


The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar begins on today, November 20, with the host nation, Qatar facing Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

In history, since host nations started kicking off the tournament in 2006, no hosts have ever lost the opening match.

In total, there have been 13 opening matches at the World Cup with thrillers and lots of memorable moments headlining them.

From Siphiwe Tshabalala’s screamer for South Africa against Mexico in 2010 to nine-man Cameroon shocking world champions Argentina at Italia ’90.

On Sunday will be the 14th as Qatar will be flagging off the tournament which coincidentally will be their first ever appearance at a FIFA World Cup.

Their opponents on the other hand, Ecuador will be looking to make it their seventh win at the tournament, following commendable performances at the World Cup over time, notably reaching the knockout stages in 2006.

In the history of most opening matches at the FIFA World Cup, there have been at least two goals scored, and the match to flag-off proceedings in Qatar promises nothing less than that.

Opening matches in retrospect

1930: France 4 Mexico 1, Estadio Pocitos, Montevideo, Uruguay

1934: Italy 7 USA 1, Stadio Nazionale PNF, Rome, Italy

1962: Chile 3 Switzerland 1, Estadio Nacional, Santiago, Chile

1982: Belgium 1 Argentina 0, Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

1986: Italy 1 Bulgaria 1, Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico

1990: Cameroon 1 Argentina 0, San Siro, Milan, Italy

1994: Germany 1 Bolivia 0, Soldier Field, Chicago, USA

1998: Brazil 2 Scotland 1, Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France

2002: Senegal 1 France 0, Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul, South Korea

2006: Germany 4 Costa Rica 2, FIFA World Cup Stadium, Munich, Germany

2010: South Africa 1 Mexico 1, Soccer City, Johannesburg South Africa

2014: Brazil 3 Croatia 1, Arena de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

2018: Russia 5 Saudi Arabia 0, Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia

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