Enner Valencia’s double, with goals coming in the 16th and 31st minutes, settled the contest and he may have had another with an early header disallowed for offside on VAR review.
The result means Qatar become the first nation in World Cup history to lose their opening game at a tournament.
But in all seriousness, Qatar were lucky to escape with a 2-0 loss, with Ecuador not pushing for more goals in the second half.
Qatar had two touches in the Ecuador penalty box for the entire game and looked rudderless in defence in the first half.
“We have a lot of room for improvement,” Sanchez told reporters. “No excuses, we started badly… nerves and responsibility got the better of us.
“We didnt start well. It was a terrible start actually.”
Home Qatari fans were seen departing the Al-Bayt Stadium in large numbers before the full-time whistle such was their displeasure at the performance.
“We felt backed and supported and we hope for the next game, people will feel prouder and keep supporting us to the end of the tournament,” Sanchez added.
“The atmosphere was great, people were very much looking forward to this game.”