Ecuador continues to persecute and hunt the impossible utopias what your coach suggests. And he does it not only with points (he accumulates 4 and if he draws against Senegal on the last day he will enter the round of 16 of the World Cup) but also with a performance that explains his enthusiasm. And with goals, of course. Even if they all run, sacrifice themselves, the goals are all scored by Enner Valencia.
The 33-year-old striker scored his sixth consecutive goal against La Naranja in Ecuador’s last five World Cup matches, a record. And in the event of scoring the next goal for his team, he will be the player with the most goals in a row for a national team. For now he has equaled Oleg Salenko (he scored 6 goals in a row for Russia in 1994) and two historical figures such as Paolo Rossi (he scored 6 goals with Italy in 1982) and Eusébio (in 1966 he celebrated six goals with Portugal ).
Now, the Turkish Fenerbahce striker andHe is one step away from entering the great history books of the World Cup.
But beyond Valencia (again injured and physically on the edge), Ecuador looked like a hardworking team against the Netherlands, with conviction, personality and with a trait that is starting to prevail in the World Cup: the physical distribution. Because not only did he end up cornering his rival, but he managed to overturn a too complex start after the great goal by Gakpo (PSV figure and closely followed by the great European powers) after 5 minutes. So the effort was doubled.
To overturn history, tactical adjustments were needed and something that the players executed perfectly on Alfaro’s orders: pressure on De Sciglio and then forward lines from his full-backs/midfielders: Estupiñán (the great figure of the game for the left foot) and Angelo Preciado. In that melee between the wings that even Van Gaal always seeks, the Ecuadorians prevailed.
Ecuador’s youth not only gave him freshness and stamina, but also power. In addition to Hinchapié in defense (20 years), it was Gonzalo Plata (22), Moisés Caicedo (21), Estupiñán (24) and Preciado (24) who gave him speed from the front wall to take off and reach the box from Holland (will close the area against Qatar).
“We played on an equal footing with these guys against an opponent who is a powerhouse, so we’re satisfied beyond the draw,” said Alfaro at the end of the game, aware that his team presented itself in the eyes of the World Cup with greatness. And he was close to keeping the three points despite eventually splitting possession against a rival who has never found answers to the network that Alfaro’s men have put together.
There was also a controversy (another in this World Cup) that made all of Ecuador discuss: at the end of the first half, Estupiñán deflected a ball that ended up in the goal. But it was thwarted by Porozo’s visual interference on Noppert, while not deflecting the ball’s trajectory or altering the direction chosen by the Dutch goalkeeper. The judge, at the request of the line, invalidated it. And the VAR remained firm this time.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.