FIFA World Cup - Group A
NetherlandsNetherlands1EcuadorEcuador1

World Cup 2022: Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador: Enner Valencia goal earns draw for South Americans

By Emma SandersBBC Sport at Khalifa International Stadium, Qatar

Enner Valencia scored his third goal of the World Cup before being taken off on a stretcher as Ecuador drew with the Netherlands to leave Group A wide open.

PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo had given the Netherlands the lead after just five minutes and four seconds - the quickest goal so far in Qatar - when he struck a shot beautifully into the top of the net.

But the Dutch struggled to build on their lead, with Ecuador's Pervis Estupinan having a goal disallowed on the stroke of half-time.

Ecuador fans were bouncing with excitement throughout the second half at the Khalifa International Stadium as they equalised just after the break and continued to create chances against a rattled Netherlands side.

The entire Ecuador squad ran over to the corner flag to celebrate with Valencia after he poked in the rebound from Estupinan's parried shot in the 49th minute - and Gonzalo Plata hit the crossbar with a long-range effort shortly after.

Captain Valencia, who scored both goals in Ecuador's victory over hosts Qatar on the opening night of the World Cup, was a constant threat but his evening was cut short due to injury.

The former West Ham and Everton striker went down in the final minute of normal time and was taken off on a stretcher, but was seen hobbling to his seat in the dugout.

The result means three teams from Group A will be battling it out for a place in the last 16 in the final group match - the Netherlands, Ecuador and Senegal - with all three capable of going through as table leaders.

With the Netherlands heavy favourites going into their final group game against bottom side Qatar, all eyes will be on a showdown between Ecuador and Senegal, which will dictate the table order.

"If you want to become world champion then of course you need to improve a lot as some of the opponents we are yet to face is playing at a much higher level," said Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal.

"We simply need to improve our game in terms of ball possession and we are working on that. Whether we'll make it in this tournament I can't guarantee that. But I think so."

Gakpo's opener was the first goal Ecuador had conceded in 701 minutes across all competitions - and a first since March - but the Netherlands struggled to create much as the game wore on.

Estupinan was left frustrated at half-time, with several of his team-mates remaining on the pitch to chat to the officials after his goal was ruled out when team-mate Jackson Porozo was offside and obstructing the view of the goalkeeper.

Van Gaal brought on Memphis Depay at half-time - a planned move as the Barcelona forward continues his return to fitness following injury - but it made little difference as Ecuador were unlucky not to pick up all three points.

Ecuador leader steps up again but at what cost?

The celebrations at full-time were subdued from Ecuador fans after a deserved point against strong opposition.

Valencia, who had an aura about him all evening and had the crowd on their feet on numerous occasions, has scored all three of Ecuador's goals so far at the tournament and they will need him on Tuesday for their crucial group decider with Senegal.

His injury in the final moments of the game will cause concern for Ecuador boss Gustavo Alfaro but otherwise it was a good evening for his side.

"[Valencia] is a top-level player when he wears the Ecuador jersey. I tell him that he will be successful in the World Cup even if he wasn't so much in the qualification campaign," said Alfaro.

"He is going through such a good spell. He is the captain."

Ecuador will be frustrated not to come away with more having had 14 shots in total - including four on target - and limiting the Netherlands to just the one, which was Gakpo's early opener.

Gakpo was on the scoresheet again having scored in the victory over Senegal, only enhancing his reputation in Qatar, but he failed to have an impact on the game afterwards.

The Netherlands have looked ropey in both of their group matches so far but are still in with a strong chance of progressing as group winners.

Player of the match

EstupiñánPervis Estupiñán

with an average of 8.67

Netherlands

  1. Squad number8Player nameGakpo
    Average rating

    7.33

  2. Squad number14Player nameKlaassen
    Average rating

    6.45

  3. Squad number4Player namevan Dijk
    Average rating

    6.17

  4. Squad number5Player nameAké
    Average rating

    6.16

  5. Squad number21Player namede Jong
    Average rating

    6.15

  6. Squad number17Player nameBlind
    Average rating

    6.04

  7. Squad number2Player nameTimber
    Average rating

    5.99

  8. Squad number7Player nameBergwijn
    Average rating

    5.97

  9. Squad number22Player nameDumfries
    Average rating

    5.97

  10. Squad number20Player nameKoopmeiners
    Average rating

    5.76

  11. Squad number10Player nameDepay
    Average rating

    5.66

  12. Squad number23Player nameNoppert
    Average rating

    5.45

  13. Squad number15Player namede Roon
    Average rating

    4.98

  14. Squad number19Player nameWeghorst
    Average rating

    4.76

  15. Squad number11Player nameBerghuis
    Average rating

    4.69

Ecuador

  1. Squad number7Player nameEstupiñán
    Average rating

    8.67

  2. Squad number13Player nameE Valencia
    Average rating

    8.40

  3. Squad number23Player nameCaicedo
    Average rating

    8.33

  4. Squad number16Player nameSarmiento
    Average rating

    8.21

  5. Squad number26Player nameRodríguez
    Average rating

    7.61

  6. Squad number19Player namePlata
    Average rating

    7.59

  7. Squad number2Player nameTorres
    Average rating

    7.40

  8. Squad number20Player nameMéndez
    Average rating

    7.38

  9. Squad number3Player nameHincapié
    Average rating

    7.37

  10. Squad number17Player namePreciado
    Average rating

    7.33

  11. Squad number10Player nameIbarra
    Average rating

    7.30

  12. Squad number11Player nameEstrada
    Average rating

    7.19

  13. Squad number25Player namePorozo
    Average rating

    7.00

  14. Squad number1Player nameGalíndez
    Average rating

    6.64

Line-ups

Netherlands

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 23Noppert
  • 2Timber
  • 4van Dijk
  • 5Aké
  • 22Dumfries
  • 20KoopmeinersSubstituted forde Roonat 79'minutes
  • 21de Jong
  • 17Blind
  • 14KlaassenSubstituted forBerghuisat 69'minutes
  • 8GakpoSubstituted forWeghorstat 80'minutes
  • 7BergwijnSubstituted forDepayat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Pasveer
  • 3de Ligt
  • 6de Vrij
  • 9de Jong
  • 10Depay
  • 11Berghuis
  • 12Lang
  • 13Bijlow
  • 15de Roon
  • 16Malacia
  • 18Janssen
  • 19Weghorst
  • 24Taylor
  • 25Simons
  • 26Frimpong

Ecuador

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Galíndez
  • 25Porozo
  • 2Torres
  • 3Hincapié
  • 17Preciado
  • 20MéndezBooked at 57mins
  • 23Caicedo
  • 7Estupiñán
  • 19PlataSubstituted forIbarraat 90'minutes
  • 13E ValenciaSubstituted forRodríguezat 90'minutes
  • 11EstradaSubstituted forSarmientoat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Arboleda
  • 5Cifuentes
  • 6Pacho
  • 8Gruezo
  • 9Preciado
  • 10Ibarra
  • 12Ramírez
  • 14Arreaga
  • 15Mena
  • 16Sarmiento
  • 18Palacios
  • 21Franco
  • 22Domínguez
  • 24Reasco
  • 26Rodríguez
Referee:
Mustapha Ghorbal
Attendance:
44,833

Match Stats

Home TeamNetherlandsAway TeamEcuador
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home2
Away15
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Netherlands 1, Ecuador 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Netherlands 1, Ecuador 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Ecuador. Conceded by Daley Blind.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kevin Rodríguez (Ecuador) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Angelo Preciado.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Angelo Preciado (Ecuador) header from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jeremy Sarmiento with a headed pass.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Ecuador. Romario Ibarra replaces Gonzalo Plata.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Ecuador. Kevin Rodríguez replaces Enner Valencia because of an injury.

  8. Post update

    Nathan Aké (Netherlands) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Moisés Caicedo (Ecuador).

  10. Post update

    Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Pervis Estupiñán (Ecuador).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Angelo Preciado (Ecuador) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a corner.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Ecuador. Conceded by Marten de Roon.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Netherlands. Wout Weghorst replaces Cody Gakpo.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Netherlands. Marten de Roon replaces Teun Koopmeiners.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Jurriën Timber (Netherlands).

  17. Post update

    Jhegson Méndez (Ecuador) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jurriën Timber (Netherlands).

  19. Post update

    Jeremy Sarmiento (Ecuador) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Steven Berghuis (Netherlands).

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As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Netherlands21103124
2Ecuador21103124
3Senegal21013303
4Qatar200215-40

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England21106244
2Iran210146-23
3USA20201102
4Wales201113-21

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Saudi Arabia11002113
2Poland10100001
3Mexico10100001
4Argentina100112-10

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France11004