Sunday, 15th June
Switzerland vs Ecuador
Switzerland and Ecuador have never met before in international
FIFA's ranking of Switzerland as a top seed surprised many, so let's
see if they can live up to the billing.
The 2014 World Cup party finally arrived in Brazil's capital,
Xherdan Shaqiri produced Switzerland's first real shot on goal in the
15th minute, while Ecuador still needed to judge the weight of their long cross balls
After not conceding at all from a set-piece during qualifying, Switzerland gave away a
needless free-kick left of the box. A wonderful delivery from Walter Ayovi allowed Enner
Valencia, the scorer against Roy Hodgson's England in Miami, the time and space to head
down onto the ground and under Diego Benaglio's outstretched hand.
Switzerland tried to put short passes together around the Ecuadorian
area but failed to penetrate the defence. Then Gokhan Inler tried a longer range strike
from the left, that Alexander Dominguez tipped past the post.
Ecuador continued to sit back and soak up the pressure, while
Switzerland struggled to make the crosses count; from either side.
Half-time: Switzerland 0 - Ecuador 1
An astute tactical move by Ottmar Hitzfeld to replace the ineffective Valentin Stocker
with Admir Mehmedi at half-time paid dividends immediately; as the Freiburg striker headed
Switzerland level, from a Ricardo Rodriguez corner.
Switzerland had a goal disallowed for offside in the 70th minute.
Another controversial decision, as the ball came off a defender.
With four minutes left on the clock, Diego Benaglio had to make a
reactionary change of direction save, from a free-kick that defied the wall.
Both teams seemed content to settle for the draw and the fans started booing. Then
Switzerland threw away the script and broke forward in the last minute of stoppage time.
The Uzbek referee played the advantage and let Behrami, who rose to his feet quickly,
stride forward and pass the ball out to Ricardo Rodriguez to provide the assist for
Switzerland's second substitute, Haris Seferovic.
Just justice for the earlier disallowed goal.
Final Score: Switzerland 2 - Ecuador 1
0:1 - Enner Valencia (22 mins)
1:1 - Admir Mehmedi (48 mins)
2:1 - Haris Seferovic (90 +3mins)
1-Diego Benaglio; 2-Stephan Lichtsteiner, 20-Johan Djourou, 5-Steve von Bergen, 13-Ricardo
Rodriguez; 11-Valon Behrami, 8-Gokhan Inler, 23-Xherdan Shaqiri, 10-Granit Xhaka;
14-Valentin Stocker, 19-Josip Drmic.
22-Alexander Dominguez; 4-Juan Carlos Paredes, 3-Frickson Erazo, 2-Jorge Guagua, 10-Walter
Ayovi; 16- Antonio Valencia, 23-Carlos Gruezo, 6-Christian Noboa, 7-Jefferson Montero;
11-Felipe Caicedo, 13-Enner Valencia.
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov - Uzbekistan
2 yellow cards:
52 mins - Juan Carlos Paredes (Ecuador)
83 mins - Johan Djourou (Switzerland)
France vs Honduras
2014 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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