Valencia save Ecuador draw against Netherlands in World Cup

Associated Press

Friday, November 25, 2022 20:05
Last updated: about 22 minutes ago

Inspired by captain Ener Valencia, Ecuador once again impressed at the World Cup on Friday with a 1-1 draw against the favored Netherlands in a game La Toli deserved to win.

Valencia were the talisman on the biggest stage, scoring the equalizer in the 49th minute against the Netherlands and the third in Qatar to become the top scorer of this World Cup.

The 33-year-old veteran’s record is also on record for all six goals he has scored for Ecuador at the World Cup since the 2014 competition.

As a result, hosts Qatar were eliminated just five days after the start of their home World Cup, which had spent nearly $200 billion preparing for it.

The draw gives the Netherlands and Ecuador one point each, moving them up to four points in Group A. He left Qatar with no points after losing 3-1 to Senegal a few hours earlier.

Ecuador dominated most of the game after Cody Gakpo fired a rising shot from the edge of the penalty area to put the Netherlands ahead in the sixth minute. It was the fastest goal ever scored for Qatar.

Ecuador equalized when Valencia passed the ball into an empty net after Pervis Estupiñan’s shot was pushed away by goalkeeper Andries Noppelt.

Nearly everyone from Ecuador joined the inspiring captain to celebrate the team’s achievement. Kneeling together in a circle pointing to the night sky of the Khalifa International Stadium created a powerful image of unity.

A few minutes later, Gonzalo Plata’s left-footed shot shook the Dutch crossbar and Ecuador almost scored the winning goal.

Ecuador can advance to a draw with Senegal on Tuesday. The Netherlands will face Qatar.

Ecuador may have to do it without Valencia. He was stretched off the field in the 90th minute. He was able to get up and walk across the bench, where an ice bag was taped to his right leg.

The Dutch efficiently managed a first-half lead without making another attempt at goal before the Ecuadorian players were upset that a potential leveler was not granted in stoppage time.

Goalkeeper Noppert’s view of the original shot was ruled to have been blocked by Jackson Porozo, who was standing offside, as Estupiñán deflected the ball into the net and through the crowded goalmouth.

Estupinyan was again involved in a valid goal that took advantage of erratic play throughout the Dutch defense after Noppelt had cleared the ball weakly and nearly retained it.

shutout streak

Until Gakpo’s goal, Ecuador had kept a clean sheet in over 11 hours of play, including seven clean sheets. It is his first since March when Argentina scored in his World Cup qualifying match, which ended 1–1.

winning streak

The Netherlands have won seven consecutive World Cup group stages. The Netherlands opened his 2010 and his first three games of 2014 by beating Senegal 2–0 in Qatar. Valencia save Ecuador draw against Netherlands in World Cup

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