Qatar Player Ratings vs Ecuador: Akram Afif Who?

It was not a memorable maiden foray into the World Cup finals for 2022 host nation Qatar as Ecuador eased past them 2-0 in a curtain-raising Group A fixture. Thoroughly swept aside by the CONMEBOL side, Felix Sanchez’s men failed to produce a single shot on target, leaving a sold-out Al Bayt Stadium in despair.

Despite a decent start to the game, Qatar soon surrendered possession to Ecuador. They were on the verge of being punished only four minutes in as VAR disallowed Enner Valencia’s opener for offside in the build-up play. However, there was no denying of the Fenerbahce striker at the second time of asking. 

After drawing a spot-kick from the Qatar goalkeeper, Valencia stepped up to the plate to execute a routine penalty and put La Tri in front in the 16th minute. The Ecuador captain doubled the South Americans’ advantage midway through the first half with a fine header, which proved to be the full-time score.

Qatar looked up the creek without a paddle, barely threatening Ecuador shot-stopper Hernaan Galindez. Rookie mistakes in the middle of the park and a lack of experience at major international tournaments eventually swayed things in La Tri’s favor.

But here we take a look at the Qatar players’ ratings. 

Qatar (5-3-2):

Saad Al Sheeb – 3

In addition to committing a silly foul to send Valencia to the spot, Saad Al Sheeb failed to provide security in goal. Often caught off guard and poor with the ball at his feet, he looked as shaky as the rest of the Qatar team.

Pedro Miguel – 3

You’d expect a far better technical performance from a Brazilian, but Pedro Miguel was no match for Romario Ibarra on the right-hand side. Sloppy in possession but decent when defending, the 32-year-old’s overall showing flattered to deceive.

Bassam Al Rawi – 3.5

Another Qatar defender having no clue where the opposition forwards were, Bassam Al Rawi was caught in no man’s lands when Valencia headed home Ecuador’s second. His performance grew as the match progressed, but he’ll be wondering how the Fenerbahce star slipped his mark.

Boualem Khoukhi – 3.5 

Like his abovementioned defensive partner, Khoukhi seemed lost in the early stages but steadily got back on track throughout the game. His impressive long ball nearly led to Qatar’s consolation goal late in the fixture, but second-half substitute Mohammed Muntari failed to hit the target.

Abdelkarim Hassan – 4

Left as a mere spectator when Valencia sprinted through the middle to force Sheeb to give away the penalty, Abdelkarim Hassan will have to reassess his performance. 

Homam Ahmed – 3.5 

Virtually invisible on Ecuador’s end of the field, Homam Ahmed spent most of the game playing catch-up on Gonzalo Plata. But he did a fine job keeping things tight on the left side.

Abdulaziz Hatem – 4

Hatem’s wayward attempt from long-range highlighted his woeful performance in the engine room as he struggled to cope with the Ecuadorians’ ferocious pace. 

Karim Boudiaf – 4.5

Full of running and energy but with no end product to show for it, Boudaif was perhaps the only consistent figure in Qatar’s otherwise poor-performing line-up.

Hasan Al Haydos

When you have the No10 on your back, you’re expected to dance around the pitch and distribute the ball around with class and purpose. Unfortunately, the Qatar captain managed nothing of the sort. 

Akram Afif – 3.5

Considering all the hype surrounding Afif before the kick-off, he’s the number one candidate for the ‘flop of the match’ category. Nowhere to be seen throughout the game, he barely had a touch worth mentioning. 

Almoez Ali – 2.5

Like his partner in crime, Ali spent the match in a ‘stealth mode.’ 


Mohammed Waad – N/A

Mohammed Muntari – 4

Of all Qatar players, he was closest to penetrating Ecuador’s water-tight backline, but his first-time effort from the edge of the box flew agonizingly clear of the crossbar.