Hosts Qatar off to losing start after Enner Valencia double for Ecuador

For Qatar, this was a letdown 12 years in the making. The host nation has spent that time building the infrastructure of a World Cup shrouded in controversy and replete with a bitter taste that, whatever the next four weeks bring, is unlikely ever to be washed away.When they kicked off this tournament, however, the hope locally was for a bravura show from the meticulously constructed football project that has run concurrently with the creation of a manicured, deeply unsettling fantasy sporting land from sand. Instead they flopped, left for dust by a stronger and cannier Ecuador unit who dealt the hardest of truths about how life at this level really looks.

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