The Turkish Fenerbahçe striker first put his team ahead with a penalty in the 16th minute of the first half and then confirmed his supremacy with a clean header in the 31st minute of the second half.
The chronicler Juan Pablo Varsky recalled that with the first goal he scored, he surpassed Agustín Delgado and became Ecuador’s all-time goalscorer in World Cups, with his fifth goal. He is the only starting player for the match with previous World Cup experience in the opening game.
The team led by Gustavo Alfaro was solvent in each of its lines during the first part and made it clear that Ecuador came to the World Cup to compete and not just to participate.
There were rumors before the engagement that some people in Qatar tried to buy the Ecuadorian players to let themselves win in the first game, something that Valencia denied with his goalscoring ability for the southern team.
Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are the representatives of Conmebol in the World Cup.