The debutant defender Félix Torres and the striker Michael Estrada contributed this Thursday for Ecuador’s 2-0 victory over Paraguay, in the South American qualifiers and that allows the “Tricolor” to rise in the standings by accumulating 12 points.
Torres, with a fantastic header in the 87th minute, and Estrada, in the last action of the match, were in charge of breaking the well-structured defensive system rehearsed by Paraguay.
The game was intense for a cold and calculating Ecuador, as well as for the Paraguayans, who resorted to everything in order to preserve the undefeated as a visitor. But it was not enough for them before the total surrender of the Ecuadorian team urged for a victory to appease the criticism for the 1-2 defeat in the previous qualifying match against Peru, in Quito.
The offensive pressure with which Ecuador came out on the opposite zone was responded by Paraguay with defensive pressure from several of its elements on the attackers who were preparing to receive the ball, thus dismantling most of the opposing attacks.
The defensive proposal of the Paraguayan coach, Argentine Eduardo Berizzo, was always backed by the effort of his attackers Ángel Romero and Luis Amarilla, who ended up running even with exaggeration during the first half.
The Ecuadorian insistence ended up creating fissures in the opposing defense, but their attackers lacked a timely shot or precision in the final shot.
Paraguay arrived little in the area defended by Ecuador during the first half, and Amarilla’s shots were weak or ended up in the hands of goalkeeper Hernán Galíndez.
The teams returned to the field with the same proposals: Ecuador insisting with their attacks without having clarity and the Paraguayan team seeking to control everything in an orderly manner.
All the free throws close to Antony Silva’s goal came out without any danger.
The clearest goal opportunity that Ecuador generated, came from the defense Castillo, who enabled the attacker Mena, who from a short distance shot over the crossbar, in the 72nd minute.
The burning of time was another of the “arguments” to which Paraguay constantly resorted, its players stayed on the floor taking advantage of the fact that the Uruguayan referee Andrés Matonte did not order the entry of the orderlies to quickly resume the match.
The insistence and the Ecuadorian perseverance, gave results in the 87th minute, with a splendid head blow from close range, against the center of Pervis Estupiñán, who came from the left side and fell behind the opposing defenders.
Seeing themselves at a disadvantage, Paraguay came out of the confinement, from the burning of time, which was taken advantage of by the locals who in a fast attack found Estrada well outlined on the right, who inflated the net with a low shot, at minute 95.
Ecuador plans to face the Chilean national team next Sunday in Quito in the qualifying rounds for Qatar 2022.
2. Ecuador: Hernán Galíndez; Félix Torres, Xavier Arreaga (m.59, José Cifuentes), Fernando León; Byron Castillo, Carlos Gruezo, Fernando Gaibor (m.59, Gonzalo Plata), Pervis Estupiñán, Ángel Mena (m.80, Júnior Sornoza); Joao Rojas (m.64, Washington Corozo) and Enner Valencia (m.80, Michael Estrada).
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro.
0. Paraguay: Antony Silva; Alberto Espínola (m.7, Robert Rojas), Fabián Balbuena, Júnior Alonso, Santiago Arzamendia (m.85, Lorenzo Melgarejo); David Martínez, Jorge Morel, Richard Sánchez (m.85, José Florentín), Hugo Martínez (m.64, Brian Ojeda); Ángel Romero (m.64, Brian Samudio) and Luis Amarilla.
Coach: Eduardo Berizzo.
Goals: 1-0, m. 87: Félix Torres and 2-0, m.95: Michael Estrada. Referee: Andrés Matonte, from Uruguay, assisted by his compatriots Richard Trinidad and Andrés Nievas, admonished Estupiñán, Morel, Alonso and Estrada.
VAR, Juan Soto, from Venezuela.
Incidents: South American qualifying game for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, played at the “Rodrigo Paz Delgado” stadium, owned by Liga de Quito, for the first time with the presence of the public since the public was prohibited from entering the stadiums due to to the pandemic by covid-19. EFE