Enner Valencia scored both goals in Ecuador's 2-0 win over Qatar ©Getty Images

A first-half brace from Ecuador captain Enner Valencia sunk Qatar in the FIFA World Cup curtain-raiser as they became the first host nation to lose the opening match of the tournament in its history.

The 33-year-old's double also set a new record as it made him Ecuador's top scorer at the World Cup finals with five goals.

The win for Gustavo Alfaro's side could have been by a wider margin had they not been denied by the video assistant referee (VAR) inside three minutes at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.

Qatari goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb came off his line to punch a free kick but punched it off the head of Michael Estrada, before Felix Torres' sliced volley fell perfectly for Valencia to nod home.

However, Estrada's right leg was ruled to be offside while he was competing for the ball with Al Sheeb.

The erratic Al Sheeb was then at fault for the real opener as he brought down Valencia in the box despite the Fenerbahçe forward taking a heavy touch on his way round the goalkeeper.

A calm side-footed finish into the bottom corner from Valencia gave La Tri the lead from the resulting penalty after 16 minutes.

Enner Valencia's penalty made him Ecuador's all-time leading scorer at the FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images
Enner Valencia's penalty made him Ecuador's all-time leading scorer at the FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images

He then doubled the score 15 minutes later with a powerful header guided expertly beyond the reach of Al Sheeb from Angelo Preciado's whipped cross.

Many home fans decided they had seen enough and left the stadium at the half-time break which left the venue around half empty for the remainder of the fixture.

Fortunes did not change for Felix Sanchez's Qatar after the restart as they were unable to muster a shot on target over the course of the match.

The only big chance fell to Romario Ibarra whose curling shot was pushed wide by Al Sheeb.

Qatar and Ecuador's fellow Group A teams Senegal and The Netherlands are due to play tomorrow in Doha's Al Thumama Stadium while Group B fixtures in Al Rayyan make up the rest of the day's action.

England meet Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in the first fixture before Wales and the United States clash at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.