Ecuador (44), Netherlands (8), Qatar (50), Senegal (18)
Thin: Senegal, the only country in this group to take part in the 2018 World Cup, were dealt a crushing blow just five days before it opened when forward Sadio Mane, the two-time African Player of the Year, was ruled out of the tournament with a leg injury sustained in penultimate game of Bayern Munich before the World Cup break. Without Mane, Senegal’s all-time leading scorer, Senegal do not have a player with more than 10 points in international competition. Meanwhile, Qatar is playing on the sport’s biggest stage for the first time as the host nation, with all 26 players on the roster competing in the national Qatar All-Star League. The Netherlands missed out on the final World Cup for only the second time since 1986. They have played in the finals of the tournament three times without winning, the last time in 2010. Ecuador, playing in the World Cup for the fourth time this century, has three players who were eliminated from the MLS Cup by LAFC. a winning team consisting of defender Diego Palacios and midfielders Sebastian Mendez and Jose Cifuentes.
A look at Sunday’s 2022 World Cup opener:
QATAR VS. ECUADOR
Where: Al-Bayt Stadium
Time: 8 am PST
TV: Fox, Telemundo, Peacock
Hood: This game was postponed by one day to ensure that the host nation, playing in their first World Cup, would be in the limelight. Qatar, managed by former Barcelona youth team coach Félix Sanchez and with a squad made up entirely of domestic All-Star players, have lost just three of their 22 matches over the past 11 months, but only one win against a World Cup side. With another goal, Sudanese striker Almoez Ali will become the country’s all-time top scorer. Ecuador, playing in its fourth World Cup since 2002, had to face a challenge from Chile, who claimed that defender Byron Castillo, who played in Ecuador’s eight qualifiers, was ineligible. Castillo did not make it to the World Championship, but La Tri’s The roster includes three players — midfielders Jose Cifuentes, Hegson Mendez and Diego Palacios — from MLS Cup champion LAFC.