A free viewing party for the opening game of the 2022 World Cup between Ecuador and Qatar will be held Sunday at La Casita de Cancun Ole at 4927 Maplewood Ave. in Larchmont.
Doors open at 6:30 a.m. with the telecast of the Group A game from Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar beginning at 8 a.m. on FS1 in English and Telemundo and the Peacock streaming service in Spanish. The first 12 games on Peacock are free while the remaining 52, beginning Thursday, will only be available to premium subscribers.
The host nation automatically receives a berth in the World Cup and always plays in the opening game. Qatar is making its World Cup debut and is 50th in the rankings compiled by FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, the third-lowest in the 32-team tournament, ahead of only Saudi Arabia, which is ranked 51st, and Ghana, which is ranked 61st.
Ecuador is making its fourth World Cup appearance and first since 2014. The only time it advanced past the group stage was 2006 when it reached the round of 16.
Known as La Tri and La Tricolor, Ecuador is ranked 44th. Its roster includes three members of the MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Football Club — midfielder Jose Cifuentes, defender Diego Palacios and midfielder Jhegson Mendez. Its roster includes a fourth Major League Soccer player, Seattle Sounders FC defender Xavier Arreaga.
The rest of the team consists of five players who play in Mexico, four in Ecuador, three in England, two each in Argentina, Belgium and Germany, and one each who play in Brazil, France, Spain and Turkey.
All 26 players for Qatar play for teams in the Qatar Stars League.