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FIFA WC: Netherlands, Ecuador play out draw 1-1 in Group A clash
Doha: Ecuador came from behind to hit back to hold Netherlands to a 1-1 draw in the second game of their Group A match at the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022 and in the process they knock out hosts Qatar.
The draw means neither side has yet qualified for the last 16 rounds of the tournament, although it does eliminate the hosts Qatar - who suffered a defeat of 3-1 to Senegal earlier in the day. The Netherlands took the lead early on thanks to Cody Gakpo's second goal of the competition, but Ecuador responded early in the second half through Enner Valencia. The former West Ham striker scored his third goal of the competition, but there were late worries for him because he had to be carried out due to a knee injury.
As a result, Ecuador will advance if they win against Senegal while the Netherlands still need a point against Qatar in their last group match on Tuesday.
In the Netherlands' opening match against Senegal, Gakpo scored with six minutes remaining, but it took him until the sixth minute against Ecuador, a squad that had had seven straight clean sheets.
The PSV Eindhoven striker received a pass from Davy Klaasen on the edge of the box, set himself up with two touches, and then sent a shot inside Hernan Galindez's near post.
Just before halftime, Ecuador thought they had taken the lead when Estupinan flicked in a shot from the edge of the box by Angelo Preciado. However, the goal was disallowed for offside because Jackson Porozo was judged to be blocking Andries Noppert's view of the goal.
After 49 minutes, though, Ecuador was not to be denied the equaliser as Noppert could only palm Estupinan's shot into Valencia's path, who had free reign of the six-yard box to prod into an empty net. A VAR check for offside occurred once more, but the striker was unquestionably on.
An incredible second half concluded with genuine concern for Ecuador as Valencia was forced off injured on a stretcher. (ANI)