World Cup results: Switzerland stuns Ecuador in stoppage time


The 2014 World Cup has picked up on Sunday with Switzerland hosting Ecuador in Group E action. Rounding out the group is European heavyweight France and CONCACAF team Honduras. This is an intriguing match up between an underrated European team with talent all over their roster and a Ecuador team that qualified ahead of Uruguay in CONMEBOL.

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Heading into the match it seemed like an even match and that was certainly the case for the first 20 minutes of the game. In the 21st minute, Jefferson Montero won a free kick on the left wing after a foul by Stephan Lichtsteiner.

Ecuador’s Walter Ayoví stepped up to take the kick and curled it into the box. Ecuadorian forward Enner Valencia was able to elevate over the group of players in the box to get a head on it and put it towards the ground and bottom right corner.

It looks like Valencia was the only player to go up which is a poor defensive showing on Switzerland’s behalf. No defenders tried to challenge them or do anything to put goalkeeper Diego Benaglio in a position to succeed.

Following that goal the Switzerland team turned up their attack looking for the equalizing goal in the first half. They continued to press up the pitch creating some opportunities and set pieces. Shaqiri took a free kick from the right wing but it sailed over the box and out of bounds in the 41st minute.

Switzerland decided to make some adjustments in the second half including bringing on Admir Mehmedi for Valentin Stocker. Three minutes into the half, Mehmedi made the Swiss coach look like a genius. Ricardo Rodriguez stepped up to take a corner and sent a solid cross into the box about three yards out from the goal.

Mehmedi was marked but somewhat uncontested to get to the ball, the man marking him barely left his feet to get up and contest Mehmedi for the ball. For some reason Ecuadorian goal keeper Alexander Domínguez was behind Mehmedi and not in any kind of position to make a play on the ball. Maybe Domínguez misjudged the ball and thought it was going to be further out and he’d be able to get it.

That tied the game at one goal apiece with a lot of time left in the second half. The Ecuadorian team continued to be the more aggressive of the attackers and were able to keep up the momentum despite the tying goal from Switzerland.

In the 69th minute it like Switzerland might have completed the comeback and tied the game up, but the goal was disallowed because Josip Drmic was offside. The Switzerland got a 3-on-1 chance a couple of minutes but mishandled the play.

Mehmedi, in the center, passed it to the near side to Shaqiri but it wasn’t perfect and Shaqiri had to take a touch allowing Ecuador to close off the angle. Ecuador nearly responded with a boot down the field, Enner Valencia got the ball away from the Swiss goalkeeper but a Swiss defender was able to get to the loose ball rolling towards the goal before Valencia could and cleared it away.

The back and forth continued through the end of the half and it looked like neither team would be able to break through and get the game-winning goal. It would have been the first draw of the tournament, but Switzerland wasn’t done.

Ricardo Rodriguez sent in a low cross from the left wing and Haris Seferovic redirected it near the left post to score the game-winner.

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