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Record opener at Qatar 2022 as Qatar  become first hosts not to score in 52 years




Records are meant to be set at important tournaments. Qatar 2022 has not been an exception even before the kick-off. Even when the final whistle was blown at the opening match, two records were already set.

Qatar become the first to host a World Cup in winter in the Northern Hemisphere as the 2010 edition in South Africa was also a winter edition, though within the regular June/July calendar of the World Cup.

Qatar not only become the first host country to lose an opening game, they capped it as being the first host nation not to score in an opening game. The last time such negative record was set was in 1970 when Mexico played a barren draw with the then Soviet Union.

In all instances that the host nations failed to win, they at least escape with draws.

Sixteen past host nations have won their matches while the other six, including South Africa in 2010. and Mexico in 1970 ended in draws.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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