The Netherlands and Ecuador failed to decide in a game that could have gone either way. A result that between the last chopped hopes of Qatar, to see the round of 16.
Enner Valencia responded to Cody Gakpo’s score opening. And the Netherlands and Ecuador leave each other as good friends (1-1). Qatar, which is hoping for a victory for the South Americans to keep a slim hope of qualifying, sees the door in the second game. A first for an organizing country.
For the Oranje, however, everything had started well. Already a scorer on the first day against Senegal, Cody Gakpo again showed the way with a powerful shot from the left, at the very start of the game.
But the selection of Louis Van Gaal then largely suffered. The South Americans even thought they were level again just before half-time thanks to Estupiñan, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Far from being frustrated, Ecuador returned to the lawn with the same intentions as he had left. And the house captain, Enner Valencia, again showed the way. After his opening double, he scored again to allow his country to take a point, before leaving his partners on a stretcher, his head caught in his hands.
Bad news before meeting Senegal, in what already looks like a small final for qualification in the next round. The Netherlands, they will have to do better to assume their status as outsiders. From the next day, against Qatar.
More info to follow…