Best opening match records as Fifa move Qatar to Ecuador

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Fifa moved the 2022 World Cup to start a day earlier so that Qatar meet Ecuador in the opening game, so which nation has the best record in the first game in past tournaments?

Fifa moves Qatar to Ecuador to host host nation’s 2022 contest opener

Qatar will now lift the curtain for the 2022 World Cup against Ecuador after Fifa brought the tournament forward. The first edition to be held in a Middle Eastern country will now start on Sunday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. (4:00 p.m. GMT) in order for the host country to play the opening game.

Senegal were due to face the Netherlands on Monday, November 21 at 1:00 p.m. (10:00 GMT) in the opening match. It will now be at 7:00 p.m. (16:00 GMT) on the same day, after England v Iran at 4:00 p.m. (13:00 GMT) and before the USA take on Wales at 10:00 p.m. (19:00 GMT).

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Fifa has brought forward Qatar’s game against Ecuador so that the host country features in the opening game. The opening ceremony has also been moved to Sunday November 20 and will take place before kick-off at Al Bayt Stadium after a unanimous decision by the Fifa board.

The decision to make the opening ceremony and Qatar’s game against Ecuador a stand-alone event ensures the continuity of a long-standing tradition that the first game of the Fifa tournament will see either the defending champions or the host country.

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The host countries played for the first time exclusively in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup in 1950

Between 1930 and 1962, only the 1950 editions in Brazil and 1958 in Sweden saw the host country kick off in a draw. England in 1966 and Mexico in 1970 started with matches as hosts, while the defending champions played the opener from 1974 to 2002.

Qatar had to break with the tradition that started in 2006 with the host country playing the opening match. According to ESPN, Fifa accepted Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s request for their first game to be later in the day after insisting on a huge fireworks display.

Sheikh Tamim wanted to revel in an extravagant display during the opening ceremony, but light levels during the afternoon kick-off would have limited the show. Thus, Fifa agreed to move Qatar’s draw with Ecuador and give Senegal and the Netherlands the opener.

But it has now been decided by key Fifa stakeholders and the host country that Qatar will face Ecuador a day earlier than scheduled, to maintain the tradition of the hosts playing in the FIFA Cup opener. world 2022. So which nation has the best opening game record?

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Brazil have the best record in the opening matches of past tournaments

Brazil have the best record of past World Cup tournament openers as the only nation with six wins. The Selecao kicked off the 1950, 1954, 1962, 1974, 1998 and 2014 editions with victories – including as hosts in 1950 and 2014 against Mexico and Croatia.

Both the 1954 and 1962 editions saw Brazil featured in the opening game when several games were played at the same time. Four matches started in unison in 1954 in Switzerland, while four also took place simultaneously in 1962 in Chile. The most at once was in 1934 with eight.

Germany hold the second-best record in the opening match of recent World Cups with three wins, including in West Germany. Die Mannschaft also played in the first tied opener after regular time in 1938 when they drew with Switzerland.

Nati would edge out Germany in the first game of the final hosted in France with a 4-2 victory in extra time. The 1938 tournament had only 16 teams and began with knockout matches. It was Switzerland’s second and most recent opening game win after winning in 1934.

Sweden, Austria and Uruguay are the only other nations to have won multiple times in the opening game of a two-man World Cup final. France, USA, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Senegal, Czech Republic, Yugoslavia, Chile, Argentina, Belgium, Cameroon and Russia all won in one.

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Mexico and Brazil have played the most World Cup openers

As well as winning the most with six, Brazil have also played in the opening game of the World Cups the most times. The Selecao and Mexico have each played the first game seven times, ahead of Germany (5) – including West Germany – as well as France and Argentina (4).

Belgium, Switzerland and Uruguay have played the opening game three times. While the United States of America plus Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden, Yugoslavia, Scotland, Bulgaria and Russia/Soviet Union have featured twice in the first game so far .

Spain, Hungary, Egypt, Romania, Netherlands, Colombia, Chile, England, Poland, Costa Rica, Cameroon, Bolivia, Senegal, South Africa , Croatia and Saudi Arabia have played the opener once. This year, Qatar and Ecuador will take part in the opening game for the first time.

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