An early second half goal from Valencia made his team to draw with the Oranje of Netherlands in their second game of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Ecuador have out-crossed the Netherlands by 20 to 5 in this game, showing how they’ve made it a priority to get the ball wide and in behind Oranje’s advancing wingbacks. The balls they’ve been putting in have been dangerous as well, not just the hit and hope variety.
Valencia going off on a stretcher will be the big disappointment for La Tri, with their captain very unlikely to be fit for Senegal.
Netherlands go into half-time the happier as the sole goal from Gakpo was a rare bit of sublime quality in a bitty half of football.
🔴LIVE BLOG: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador
Time for a few pics…
Plata lashes the crossbar
A powerful curler with the left foot by Plata rattles off the crossbar with Noppert left watching it do it’s thing. Ecuador should be ahead here.
Netherlands don’t need to win
Having won their opening game against Sengal and with Qatar still to come, a draw wouldn’t be the worst result for the Dutch. However, that can be a dangerous mentality to have as attack is generally the best form of defence.
Mendez picks up a booking for a foul on Gakpo and will miss the next game.
Ecuado are knocking.
Virgil van Dijk makes an outstanding block to deny Enner Valencia but he can only watch as Gonzalo Plata whistles a stunning drive at goal.
Andries Noppert is beaten but the ball cannons off the crossbar to safety.
54 mins: Ecuador do deserve that goal, the Netherlands have looked limp since their early goal.
A huge test of the Dutch now.
Valencial the goal scorer. He has now scored his third World Cup goals for his country.
With that goal, Ecuador’s Enner Valencia becomes the World Cup’s leading goalscorer, with three under his belt so far at this tournament.
He’s scored five times in the six World Cup games he’s played in.
GGGGOOOOOAAALLLLL!!! Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador
49 mins: VALENCIA WITH A TAP-IN! Ecuador now levelled up.
Kick off! Depay on for Bergwijn for the Dutch.
Half time! Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador
A timely reminder that this game is far from over at the break.
45+3 mins: The corner is drilled back into the box and takes a touch into the net, Estupinan wheels away!
But the flag goes up as Porozo is adjudged to have obstructed the goalkeeper’s view from an offside position.
Just three minutes.
La Tri thwarted from breaking
Several times it looks like they’re about the get away on the break but the Dutch counter-press stops it before it really starts to become a problem. If they do manage to get that final through ball off they could be in behind van Dijk and Co.
ALMOST HALF TIME
40 mins: Into the final five of the half with Valencia and Dumfries having a bit of a to-do off the ball. Play on.
33 mins: Valencia picks up a nice crossfield ball, cuts onto his right and shoots early – forcing Noppert down low to his right to parry clear!
27 mins: Good work down the left from Valencia leads to a gentle flick across goal by Estrada, but it fails to land at a teammate’s foot and Ecuador settle for a corner.
USING THE HEAD
After 20 minutes, this is how the stats are looking.
A long way to go yet but as things stand, the Dutch would qualify for the last-16 with England’s Group B meeting the top two from this group.
Dutch lacking passing options
Van Dijk looks frustrated at his team by the lack of people showing for the ball when he picks it up. The Dutch are holding onto it but mainly in their own half and midfield.
17 mins: Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador
Ecuador put the ball into the box and a bouncing half-volley at the far post causes a bit of worry for the Netherlands, who get it clear.
KICK OFF: Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador
GGGGOOOOOAAALLLL!!!! Netherlands 1-0 Ecuador | Gakpo (5 mins)
Ecuador wing-back Preciado can continue and we resume into Dutch possession across the middle third of the pitch.
Ake looks forward and Gakpo BURIES IT! The ball broke for the youngster, who spun onto his left foot and struck a delightful shot past Galindez at the near post!