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World Cup 2014

Ecuador 2 Honduras 1 - Highlights, key battle and what the result means

Published on Jun 21, 2014 8:54 AM
Ecuador striker Enner Valencia slides on his knees to celebrate his second goal in the 2-1 win over Honduras. -- PHOTO: AFP.

The battle between two of this World Cup's lesser lights still manage to illuminate Curitiba as Ecuador gave maximum effort to beat an equally determined Honduras 2-1.

There was no free flowing Samba football or tactical tiki-taka stuff. This game for Group E survival all boiled down to hard running and fierce tackling.

In the end, Ecuador simply have that little extra in their locker to defeat a passionate Honduras side.


- Without a goal at the World Cup finals since a 1-1 draw against Northern Ireland in 1982, Honduras finally broke their 510 minute duck through Carlo Costly, who controlled a high ball before shooting into the net in the 31st minute.

- The joy lasted all of three minutes before Enner Valencia steamed towards the far post to guide Juan Carlos Paredes' shot home for Ecuador.

- Enner grabbed his second of the night with a header off Walter Ayovi's 65th minute free-kick to seal the win.

Key battle

Noel Valladares (Honduras) vs Enner Valencia (Ecuador)

Rated as the best goalkeeper in Honduras' history, Valladares is also the team's oldest player at the age of 37.

While he lacks speed, his 122 caps gives him plenty of experience but his opponent, Enner, is fast matching his namesake, Antonio, in terms of achievements for Ecuadorian football.

Valladares could not scramble back in time to keep out the striker's first goal and for the killer second goal, stood rooted to his line and watched as Enner headed into the bottom corner.

Man of the Match

With seven goals in his last six international games, Enner is in white-hot form right now. And he is shining on the biggest stage of all to add a few digits to his transfer fee.

The striker, who plays in Mexico for Pachuca, was absolutely clinical as he converted three shots on target into a brace. His poached the first by being at the right place at the right time while he showed his athleticism to jump highest to head home the second.

Enner is turning out to be one of the surprises of this World Cup. He now has three goals and joins Robin van Persie, Karim Benzema, Thomas Mueller and Arjen Robben at the top of the scoring charts.

Who would have thought?

What the result means

After losing 2-1 to Switzerland in their opener, Ecuador have bounced back to take second place in Group E with three points, just ahead of Switzerland on goal difference.

Honduras are almost certainly out after two defeats leave them rock bottom.

Ecuador will qualify for the round of 16 if the Swiss stumble in their final game against the Hondurans but Enner and Co. could be booted out if they lose to leaders France next Thursday and the Swiss gets at least a draw.