With this loss, Qatar becomes the first host nation to start off the World Cup campaign with a loss. Since the 2006 edition in Germany, it is host nations who play the opening game of the tournament as the latest Champions don’t qualify automatically. Till 2002, it was the defending champions who kickstarted the campaign.
What Comes Next:
The battle only gets tougher for Qatar from here on. They face Senegal next on 25th November. Ecuador, on the contrary, have all to play for as they square on against the Netherlands on the same day.
All Four Previous Hosts playing the opening Game are unbeaten:
As Qatar failed to get a point from their opening game, we take a look at how the other host nations fared in their opening games-
World Cup 2006 (Germany) Germany 4 – 2 Costa Rica
Hosts Germany cruised through against Costa Rica in 2006. Phillip Lahm, Torsten Frings scored one each along with Miroslav Klose’s double to kickstart Die Mannschaft’s campaign with a win.
World Cup 2010 (South Africa) South Africa 1 – 1 Mexico
The goal for all Africaaa! Remember this legendary line by Peter Drury? Well, the moment Siphiwe Tshabalala’s shot beat Mexico’s Oscar Perez in the 55th minute, history was created. It was the first World Cup goal on African soil and the hosts South Africa that day managed a draw against Mexico. Rafael Marquez equalised for the Mexicans.
World Cup 2014 (Brazil) Brazil 3 – 1 Croatia
Neymar was at the double on the opening night at the Corinthians Arena in 2014. Oscar completed the scoring to give hosts Brazil all three points. Earlier, it was Marcelo who scored an own goal to give Croatia a lead.
World Cup 2018 (Russia) Russia 5 – 0 Saudi Arabia
Four years ago, the host Russians started off the campaign with a five-star performance against a hapless Saudi Arabia side. Denis Cheryshev was the star of the show with a brace, while Artem Dzyuba, Aleksandr Golovin and Yury Gazinsky scored one each.