Not all of the excitement from Sunday’s opening World Cup match between Ecuador and Qatar took place on the field.
Two days after it was announced that the sale of beer with alcohol would be banned at the eight World Culp stadiums, Ecuador fans appeared to chant in the stands, “Queremos cerveza, queremos cerveza!” or “We want beer!” as their team defeated Qatar, 2-0.
Qatar, the host country, follows a form of Islam called Wahhabism, which has strict limits on the purchase and consumption of alcohol; however, hotel bars have served it for years.
Non-alcoholic beer will still be sold at the matches, however.
As for the game itself, things couldn’t have gone better for Ecuador.
In the third minute, Ecuador seemingly scored the opening goal of the tournament, but it was disallowed due to a controversial offsides call that was triggered by VAR. Ecuador would get their opening goal, though, from a penalty from veteran striker Enner Valencia, who was fouled by Qatari goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb.
Valencia then added a second score before the halftime whistle after heading in a beautiful cross from right-back Angelo Preciado.
“I dreamt so many times about winning this opening match. This was a dream that I managed to score and help my team get the three points,” Valencia said. “We managed to score a couple of quick goals which helped us to get control of the game and win the three points. We think we can go very far and perform well.”
The three points won by Ecuador results in them sitting atop of Group A for the time being. The other two nations in Group A, Senegal and the Netherlands, will play Monday.