Millennium Post

Peru weathers Ecuador storm to earn 2-2 draw

After registering a 1-0 win against Haiti in their previous match, Peru launched attacks right from the beginning of the game and made themselves big. Just 5 minutes into the game and Ecuadorian defence was torn apart as Christian Cueva took a delightful spin in the penalty area to send away the man marking him and scored the first goal of the game.

The celebration of the early goal wasn’t even over and soon in the 13th minute, Edinson Flores chested down the ball from Guerrero and beat Paredes to slot home a beautiful right low corner strike.

Guerrero shone from Peru’s side in the early moments of the match as Peru kept pressing Ecuador in search of another goal. In the second part of the first half, Ecuador composed themselves and started building their moves and kept much possession. Their patience and constant attack paid off in the 30th minute when Antonio Valencia put an exquisite ball through which Enner Valencia took control of and shot a cracker home.

By the end of the first half, Peru seemed to have been failing to keep up with the initial spark they displayed and Ecuador had quietly risen from the ashes to display settled football.Just as the second half began, Ecuador pulled up their game instantly and some beautiful passing in the penalty area brought a goal for Ecuador in the 48th minute. To a selfless pass by Montero, Bolanos gave the final touch.

The rest of the half saw end-to-end game while Ecuador displayed some exquisite football in the form of Enner Valencia. The game saw some tussles as well as a result of which, Achilier was shown his second yellow card in the final minutes of the stoppage time and was sent off.

The other Group B clash was between Brazil and Haiti and it was a one-sided affair as Philipe Coutinho scored a hat-trick to give Brazil a comprehensive 7-1 victory in Florida on Thursday.

Brazil disappointingly played out a goalless draw  against Ecuador in their last encounter, but this time around, Brazil displayed their dominance aptly as Coutinho scored twice in the opening half an hour to put Brazil ahead in the game. With ample amount of space, Coutinho first struck as he collected the ball outside the penalty area and shot a stunning strike past Haiti goalkeeper Johny Placide.

Despite Brazil’s dominance, they were often found to be loose when it came to possession and let the ball go very easily at times.

Renato Augusto scored twice in each half and Lucas Lima and Gabriel had their go at the goal as well. As he began, Coutinho ended the game with a goal in the stoppage time to register his hat-trick. The only consolation goal for Haiti came from James Marcelin in the 70th minute but that did do Brazil’s defence apart. That was the one moment in the entire game where the weaknesses of the Brazilian defence were at display.

As it stands, Brazil are on top of Group B standings with 4 points and Peru just behind them with the same point but due to goal difference. Ecuador are third with 2 points while Haiti stand at nil.  Ecuador will next face Haiti and Brazil and Peru will go against each other on Monday to strengthen their position as the top contender.

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