82 min Mendez goes down after a slight touch in the face from Waad. Plata curls the free-kick straight out of play.
82 min Sanchez throws his hands in disgust when Alsheeb hoofs the ball straight out of play. Qatar have been so disappointing.
79 min Sarmiento misses a great chance, wafting over from 10 yards, though it wouldn’t have counted because somebody, Estupinan I think, was offside in the build up.
78 min Afif is booked for a poor tackle on Plata.
77 min “Since half-time, Qatar’s fullbacks have pushed further up the field, which has kept Ecuador’s wingers from surging up the flanks,” writes Kári Tulinius. “I think that’s the main tactical reason for the differences between the two halves.”
76 min: Ecuador substitution Enner Valencia, who scored both goals in the first half, is replaced by Jhon Cifuente.
76 min Enner Valencia is down again, holding his right knee. This time I’m confident it’s a genuine injury.
75 min Afif has a bit of time to line up a drive from 25 yards, but he swishes it high over the bar. He’s been really disappointing.
74 min The Qatar coach Felix Sanchez has hand over his mouth, his eyes focussing on a point roughly 1,000 yards in the distance.
73 min Sarmieno is fouled on the left edge of the area by Miguel. Estupinan curls the free-kick towards the near post, Hatem heads clear.
71 min: Qatar substitution Mohammed Waad and Mohammed Muntari replace the captain Hassan Alhaydos and Almoez Ali, who missed Qatar’s best chance on the stroke of half-time.
69 min There are two ways of looking at this non-event of a second half. One, that Qatar have restricted Ecuador to half chances; two, that Ecuador don’t need any more goals and have played within themselves.
68 min: Ecuador substitution Brighton’s Jeremy Sarmiento replaces the excellent Romario Ibarra in midfield.
66 min Nothing is happening on the field. Off it, on the other hand…
64 min “Imagine having Infantino’s confidence though,” dreams Ian Copestake. “I would definitely have landed that teaching job in Aberystwyth.”
63 min Preciado is back on the field.
62 min Hassan drives an angled cross towards the far post, where Pedro Miguel gets in front of Estupinan and slams a good header back across goal that goes a few yards out. He was a long way out, almost Steve Nicol territory, so that was a decent effort.
61 min Preciado is off the field receiving treatment. He seemed to pull something when he booted the ball downfield.
60 min “I am starting to feel sorry for the players of Qatar,” says Mary Waltz. “They look shell shocked, as if their limbs are frozen.”
Yes, I suspect they are better than this. And they will be against Senegal when, after a minor change to Fifa’s eligibility rules, Erling Haaland, Andy Robertson and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia make their World Cup debuts.
59 min Hatem is fortunate not to be booked for a hack at the impressive Plata.
57 min According to the Fifa possession stats, Ecuador lead 44-42.
56 min Mendez is booked for scraping his studs down Afif’s shin.
55 min: Good save from Alsheeb! Ibarra cuts inside Bassam on the edge of the area and whips a curling shot that is pushed away by Alsheeb, diving to his left. It was a relatively comfortable stop.
53 min Plata shuffles past two players, keeps his balance despite being fouled and curls in a good cross that just evades both Estrada and Valencia in the middle.
53 min “TV has just shown a close up of the most vocal Qatar fans,” says Colin Stevens. “on’t think I could see one woman amongst them.”
52 min The right-back Preciado shoots from 30 yards, and blooters it into the crowd.
51 min Ibarra moves into the penalty box from the left but then underhits a relatively simple pass to someone (nope, not a clue) on the edge of the area.
50 min Nothing much is happening at the moment. These sides play again on Friday – Qatar against Senegal, Ecuador against Louis van Gaal’s army.
49 min Qatar are having more of the ball at the start of the second half, though so far it’s all been in front of the Ecuador defence.
47 min “I rather like the ‘in contest’ possession stat, assuming it accounts for 50/50 balls and such,” says Tracy Mohr. “However, what on earth is ‘offers to receive’?”
A foreign language?
46 min Peep peep! Ecuador begin the second half.
The players are back out on the field, including Enner Valencia, whose knee injury mustn’t be too bad.
“Changing the fixtures and insisting on featuring in the showpiece opening game probably seemed a much better idea when the Qataris thought they wouldn’t be played off the park,” says David Wall.