Enner Valencia leads Ecuador to 2-1 victory over Honduras
FIFA World Cup 2014: Ecuador vs. Honduras preview, live commentary and recap.
Honduras scored their first goal since 1982 Friday against Ecuador, a scoreless streak spanning more than 500 game minutes. Ecuador's Enner Valencia scored twice Friday in just over 30 minutes.
Perhaps that is a perfect representation of these two sides.
Honduras opened the scoring, but Ecuador answered quickly to dash any hopes for the Central American nation. Honduras saw their chances of moving into the knockout stage all but dashed Friday.
It didn't seem to be headed that way, however. Carlo Costly opened the scoring for Honduras, making an opportunistic play on a mishandle by Ecuador. But the elation was short-lived, as Ecuador came back a couple minutes later to even the score.
There was a bit of mystery just before the half, as Honduras appeared to have scored but it was waved off by the referee's whistle. The official call was a handball, but it looked more like Honduras could have been offsides -- though even that is arguable.
In any event, the goal was wiped, and Valencia struck again in the second half, sealing the win for Ecuador.
Ecuador may need some help from this Honduras side in moving through. They are tied with Switzerland but currently hold a two goal edge. However, Ecuador will face France while the Swiss play Honduras. Certainly, Ecuador faces the more difficult roas, especially given the way France has played.
FINAL: Honduras 1 (Costly 31') - Ecuador 2 (Valencia 34', 65')
92' -- Ecuador scored but it was wiped away and I have no idea why. Sorry.
OH handball. There was a handball.
86' -- Honduras pressing and getting some decent chances. Figueroa pulls from deep and misses just wide.
83' -- Few more chances for Honduras, but Ecuador seems to be in complete control. Here is a child representing the emotions of the whole of Ecuador.
79' -- Quick chance for Honduras' Espinoza at the top of the box, but it sails high.
74' -- Honduras free kick is sent into orbit. Still looking for the equalizer.
65' -- Enner Valencia. Again. The man is possessed.
Valencia heads in a free kick.
62' -- Honduras scores...but they were offsides. Ugh. Offsides is such a buzzkill. Great attack from both sides for the last several minutes.
61' -- Great Ecuador chance but the header is...awful. The header was awful.
60' -- Bengtson very, very nearly snuck one past the keeper for Honduras. They win a corner, but it's wasted.
58' -- Ecuador's Caicedo has a great run in the box but can't get a shot. He goes down but wasn't fouled.
52' -- Pretty sloppy from both sides to start the half. No real chances so far.
46' -- We're underway, and Honduras has an early chance. Denied.
Halftime: Perhaps not the purest form of soccer, but the first half between Honduras and Ecuador has been mighty entertaining. Both teams are fighting to stay alive, and it's clear. An insane pace, and the second half figures to be better.
48' -- WHOA. A crazy end to the half. Honduras sends a ball in, headed into the post, and the hammer home a goal. BUT WAIT. There was apparently a hand ball, at least that's what the referee believes. In any event, it looks like Honduras was offsides.
46' -- Good heavens. Bernardez blasts a free kick to a near goal.
41' -- Exciting, up and down play. Ecuador earns a fourth corner.
34' -- GOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLL ECUADOR EQUALIZES!!!! The energy at this game is insane. Enner Valencia, as usual, puts one through to tie the game after a few lucky bounces.
31' -- GOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAL HONDURAS!! I'm taking all the credit because I just pointed out they hadn't scored in like 30 years. Okay, Carlo Costly gets some credit, too. Great strike.
28' -- Great opportunity on the corner for Honduras goes wide. As the broadcast noted, Honduras hasn't scored in the World Cup since 1982. That's 500+ game minutes.
20' -- Unbelievable long ball to Enner Valencia, but the Ecuador forward wastes it with a poor try from super close.
12' -- Some decent chances on both ends, but nothing to worry either keeper. Very high-paced.
6' -- A second chance for Honduras, who looks much more capable tonight than they did against France last week.
4' -- Good chances for both sides early. Pretty frenetic pace.
1' --Kind of a bizarre start. A collision at midfield literally four seconds after kickoff. Everyone seems okay.
1' -- We're underway. One side needs a win. Hopeful for some desperate, exciting play. Also, this is weird, both coaches have at one time coached the opposing side.
5:45 p.m. ET: These two sides are just fighting to stay alive at this point. Both squads would prefer a clear result -- in their respective favor, of course -- but a draw would still keep both teams alive.
Here are the starting lineups.
Honduras: Valladares, Figueroa, Bernárdez, Izaguirre, Beckeles, Garcia, Espinoza, Garrido, Claros, Bengtson, Costly.
Ecuador: Dominguez, Guagua, Erazo, Paredes, Noboa, Montero, W. Ayovi, Caicedo, E. Valencia, A. Valencia, Minda
Ecuador vs. Honduras (Group E) | Kickoff: 6/20, 6 p.m. ET | Stadium: Baixada
Match Preview: Honduras got stomped by France 3-0 in their opener. But they now plan to switch things up.
They pretty much have to, too, since defender Wilson Palacios was sent off with a red card and is thus unavailable.
For one, Jorge Claros will replace Palacios, but Honduras coach Luis Fernando Suarez promised more changes.
"There will be some changes, you will know and learn about these tomorrow," Suarez said, according to the Associated Press.
"We ran away from football in the last match. It seems to me we were missing something ... we needed more confidence with the ball."
Both Honduras and Ecuador are in an unenviable position, having each lost their first game. One side will likely need a clear result Friday to have any shot at upstaging either Switzerland or France for one of two spots in the Round of 16.
Ecuador has a stronger side, and they showed that against Switzerland in their opener, nearly besting the Swiss before conceding two second half goals.
This game should be Ecuador's for the taking, especially since Honduras will be short Palacios. These two sides last met in November, finishing in a 2-2 draw. A similar result won't help either side through.
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