Combative and courageous, Ecuador came out to play “one on one” against the Netherlands, the favorite for many in Group A of Qatar 2022. The Dutch began by taking the lead, but the Latin Americans did not flinch and managed to equalize the score. With the 1-1 draw in this match, the host team was left out of the World Cup.
A decisive match was held at the Khalifa International Stadium. Two winners on their first World Cup date faced each other looking for three points that would practically put them in the round of 16. The joy was halfway for both: the Netherlands and Ecuador drew 1-1.
The ‘Tri’ arrived without conceding a goal since their match against Argentina in March during the South American qualifiers. A statistic that quickly collapsed with the Netherlands scoring 6 minutes into the first half.
After a loss of the ball by the Ecuadorians, ‘Clockwork Orange’ took possession of the ball and after a series of passes, Cody Gakpo sent a strong left-footed shot that left goalkeeper Hernán Galíndez without the possibility of a reaction.
The goal led to a close match. Tactical fouls, a stopped game and the difficulty of creation by both teams characterized the entire first half. The incipient attack attempts by Ecuador were quickly contained by the Dutch.
Ecuador, however, made its fans excited with a goal in the last breath of the first half. A corner kick ended in a shot by Angelo Preciado and after a great save by Andries Noppert, Pervis Estupiñán took advantage of a rebound putting the ball into the net.
But the linesman extinguished the Ecuadorian euphoria by decreeing the existence of an offside.
The decision heated up Ecuadorian spirits. Between reproaches to the refereeing body and faces of disgust, the players led by Alfaro went out to the dressing rooms after 45 minutes.
The rage of the ‘Tri’ and their determination to reverse the result were felt from the moment they returned to the field of play. Push and hold, Ecuador was determined to take the title of “favorite” from the ‘Clockwork Orange’.
So it was. If in the first half the Dutch had their first joy prematurely, in the second half happiness took over the Ecuadorians in the 49th minute. The Ecuadorian “retaliation” came with a strong shot by Michael Estrada saved by the goalkeeper who left a rebound and Enner Valencia, with his scoring instinct, scored the discount for Ecuador.
The Ecuadorian captain celebrated his third goal in the tournament and the sixth in his World Cup history. For now, he is the top scorer in the World Cup.
Ecuador, with a devastating attitude, blurred the game of the orange squad and did not stop looking on multiple occasions to take the lead on the scoreboard. But the score ended “in a draw”.
The end of the game left the Ecuadorian emotion incomplete. The striker Enner Valencia came out on a stretcher after feeling discomfort in his knee.
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