Ecuador hold Netherlands, hosts Qatar exit World Cup | Football News


The Netherlands needed 84 minutes to find a goal in their opening win against Senegal. On Friday, they got on board in the sixth—the quickest goal of this World Cup so far—but Ecuador swiftly grew into the contest to script a 1-1 draw at the Khalifa International Stadium in Al Rayyan.

Both the scorers added to their tally this World Cup: Cody Gakpo for the Netherlands and Enner Valencia, who scored a brace against Qatar, for Ecuador in the 49th minute before being stretchered off late in the game.

The draw leaves both teams on four points, with Senegal on three. With the Dutch to face the knocked-out Qatar in their last league game, a lot could ride on the Ecuador-Senegal clash to determine the second team to advance from this group.

It was a fast start by the Dutch, courtesy an equally rapid strike by Gapko. In a brilliant finish, the 23-year-old rocketed the ball from his left foot from outside the Ecuador box after being set up by Davy Klaassen. It brought a brisk end to a defensive run of Ecuador of not conceding a goal in their previous seven matches.

A rattled Ecuador composed themselves and then made a flurry of entries into the Dutch penalty area. Captain Valencia had a crack on target which needed a diving save by Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert. Ecuador thought they had equalised at the stroke of half-time through a deflection from Pervis Estupinan, only for it to be disallowed by VAR with Jackson Porozo positioned off-side directly in line of Noppert’s vision.

Netherlands summoned Memphis Depay for the second half but four minutes into it, Ecuador weren’t to be denied again. Some sloppy defending by the Dutch gave Estupinan space on the left to drill in a low shot. Noppert got his left hand out to parry the ball but Valencia was placed perfectly to redirect it into the net.

Ecuador were bossing the game, had plenty more attempts on goal than the Dutch and were even denied by the bar.


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