Slow start for this game. Mostly due to a swarm like defense by Switzerland. Ecuador could not get free.
The first shot by Xherdan Shaqiri in the 15th minute was the first flash of offense.
But off a free kick, Ecuador’s Enner Valencia got a clean header into goal. Put it in behind himself and the goalie. Very sweet goal. Good service off the free kick by Walter Ayoví. No reason Valencia should have been that open in the box but C’est La Vie.
Swiss started the second half hungry for an equalizer. Admir Mehmedi was brought in for a spark and provided it right away with a header in the 47th minute. Set up by a corner from Ricardo Rodríguez.
An offsides call on Josip Drmić prevented an easy goal for the Swiss. Ecuador’s defense was much to blasé.
Enner Valencia missed an opportunity to put in a second goal.
Flurry of action in the 92nd minutes. Looked like both teams might be resigned to the fact of taking away one point a piece. But not so much. Ecuador broke towards the goal with a solid chance. After one guy got stuck too far into the goal box, he passed to Michael Arroyo who instead of taking a quick and open shot; dribbled until he lost the ball.
Switzerland was more deliberate in wanting to claim all the points. Taking the steal from Arroyo all the way down the field. And Haris Seferović who came on in the 75th minute gets a goal in the last 20 seconds. Extremely fast counter.
Switzerland denies the first draw of the tournament by coming from behind to win. They blew off a bunch of runs by Xherdan Shaqiri by not supporting him. But the substitutes made all the difference.
Ecuador might be underrated because they do not have many players in the European leagues; only 4 which is fewest in this tournament. And they won most of their games in qualifying at altitude. But that does not convey their passion for the game. They just need to translate that passion into goals.
Swiss have a decent and well rounded team. But they seem too timid. Not sure they didn’t just get lucky with their late strike. They need to get more support forward to keep pace.