Enner Valencia strikes again to earn Ecuador draw with Netherlands.
World Cup 2022 Highlights – Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador, as the Netherlands went ahead but found themselves but failed to keep 3 points.
However, 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar were eliminated after this draw from the same group A.
Cody Gakpo got the Dutch off to the perfect start with a goal after just six minutes.
The PSV Eindhoven forward has scored the fastest goal of the World Cup so far after only 5 minutes and 4 seconds against Ecuador.
It started with Davy Klaassen was almost gifted an assist as he took the ball from Ecuadorian clumsy backpass.
The Ajax midfielder delayed his pass as Gakpo raced into a gap on the edge of the box, and Gakpo took the pass and slapped his left-footed shot into the top corner.
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Ecuador’s response was long in coming, but when it did, only Virgil van Dijk’s brilliance kept them at bay.
Times after times, the Liverpool defender was perfectly positioned to keep the Dutch clean sheet intact.
The South Americans did seem to equalise in first-half stoppage time.
The moment almost came when Pervis Estupinan flicked Angelo Preciado’s long-range shot into the net but it was ruled out for offside.
This was caused by Jackson Porozo was standing directly in front of Dutch goalkeeper Andries Noppert.
Five minutes after the break, Ecuador did get their equaliser when Enner Valencia pounced after Noppert could only parry Estupinan’s low shot. The South Americans dominated from there.
Later on, Gonzalo Plata hammered a shot against the bar, Michael Estrada scuffed a shot from virtually the penalty spot and Ecuador continued to knock on the door.
The Dutch looked ragged, but managed to weather the storm and hold on for a point which may yet be crucial.
Group A status
It’s all over and the points are shared, which means the host nation Qatar cannot now qualify for the knockout stages, however well they perform in their final group game against the Netherlands.
As it stands, chances are equal for the rest of this group, with Netherlands, Senegal and Ecuador must win to seal the tickets to latter stage.