Khalifa International Stadium will witness a heated event today. The Netherlands won their previous fixture against Senegal with a goal difference of 2. So did Ecuador, a team that defeated Qatar to make it the first host nation to lose the opening FIFA World Cup 2022 fixture. While Senegal made it difficult for the Netherlands to win, Qatar nearly gave in to the situation easily.
The Netherlands fights for the win anyway. Their appearance in the 2010 World Cup Final against Spain nearly ended in a draw before Andres Iniesta scored an extra-time goal. The Netherlands could only take home a red card that was personally delivered to John Heitinga.
Ecuador has not yet left a lasting impression on the international stage. The Netherlands, on the other hand, have often reached the top rank. With the exception of 2018, the team was able to go to the finals in 2010 and finish in third place in 2014.
Both teams have previously met in friendly matches in 2006 and 2014. There were a total of three goals scored, with the Netherlands claiming win in 1 of 2 matches while the other game ended in a draw.
Compared to Ecuador, the Netherlands’ World Cup record is far superior. To clarify, the tournament is capable of producing an upset at any time. Consider Argentina versus Saudi Arabia, followed by Japan versus Germany. However, the Netherlands have only lost twice in their last 14 World Cup matches, while Ecuador has only won two of seven World Cup matches against European teams.
Ecuador will look to play more of the Enner-led game which proved to be the winner against Qatar with 2 goals for the side. With a stronger defense, the Netherlands will continue to rely on Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen. Memphis Depay entered the field with 30 minutes remaining against Senegal. Netherland is considering putting him up to replace Vincent Janssen at the opening position now that he is back on the field like a regular.
Depay’s 42 international goals will be useful as he likely teams up with Steven Bergwijn, who is also entering the arena. Steven Berguis and Frankie de Jong will likely remain in the Netherlands’ midfield as they play in a 3-5-2 formation.
Enner Valencia might not have been able to play in the middle for Ecuador after getting hurt in the team’s first game. There are now reports that he could be back to push the ball to the safety net. He has 37 goals to his name, giving him the confidence to bring his team back from the dead. The odds on FIFA betting sites favor the Netherlands with a score of 2-1.
Ecuador will look to at least equalize the scoreboard to get a single point each. If they win, they’ll top Group A, where the Netherlands is crowned.