Jun 15, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT
Story of the half: Switzerland pounded the Ecuadorian goal, but it was the South Americans who put themselves on top midway through the first half, and have the advantage at the break.
The Swiss ripped off nine shots to Ecuador’s four, but could not find a solid attempt on goal to beat Alexander Dominguez in front of Ecuador’s net.
The red-hot Enner Valencia was the man to bag Ecuador’s goal, on one of the easier headers he’ll ever pick out after finding himself all alone on a free kick.
FOLLOW LIVE: Soccerly’s real-time match center
22′ – From a free kick from the tight left corner, Enner Valencia somehow was left completely alone in the box and he easily nodded the free kick home with his head for a 1-0 Ecuadorian lead, leaving Johan Djourou in his dust.
Other key moments:
16′ – Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri picked up the first shot on target, with a strong strike but right at Dominguez who saved low and well.
34′ – Valon Behrami sent in an unbalanced header off a corner, and although Dominguez spilled the first save he collected to prevent a rebound.
Switzerland – Benaglio; Lichtsteiner, Von Bergen, Rodriguez, Djourou; Xhaka, Behrami, Inler; Drmic, Stocker, Shaqiri.
Ecuador – Domínguez; Paredes, Guagua, Erazo, Ayoví; Gruezo, Noboa, A Valencia, Noboa; E Valencia, Caicedo.
Goals: E. Valencia 22′
Enner Valencia – The Ecuadorian striker who picked up the only goal of the first half, Valencia came into this match in scorching form, with 12 goals in his last 17 matches for Mexican club Pachuca. He’s on target today, and continues to be his country’s best attack up front.
Stephan Lichtsteiner – The biggest Swiss threat down the right side, Lichtsteiner was a force going forward, pumping in four crosses and creating one chance.
Numbers to know:
67% – The amount of possession Switzerland held in that first half of play.
221 – The number of passes Switzerland completed, more than double Ecuador’s total of 95
2 – The number of crosses Switzerland completed out of 16 attempted, while Ecuador is 1/6.
Questions for the second half:
- Can Switzerland get a good shot on target? They’ve had a few decent chances in the first half but nothing outstanding. Their midfield is proving to be a positive, holding possession and passing well, but they so far have not been able to make it through Ecuador’s back line.
- Can Ecuador put this game away? We told you before the match how Ecuador has had trouble scoring in the recent pass. They pulled one off against the run of play in the first half, but if Switzerland continues to hold this much of the ball and bomb their fullbacks up, Ecuador may need to get another in order to pull off all three points.
May 6, 2015, 10:29 PM EDT
Reinforcements are on the way and arriving in the Mile-High City sooner than previously anticipated.
May 6, 2015, 9:31 PM EDT
Europe’s second-tier competition kicks off its semifinal round on Thursday, and this year’s title is totally up for grabs.
May 6, 2015, 8:11 PM EDT
Newcastle’s first choice for a new manager has turned them down, so now what?
May 6, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT
It’s a long, long way back for Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but they’re keeping the faith — at least they’re trying to.
May 6, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT
Messi’s magic leads the way as we were treated to a gem of a game at the Nou Camp. Here’s what we learned.
May 6, 2015, 5:05 PM EDT
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Lionel Messi, the world’s best player, scored a truly unbelievable goal.
May 6, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT
Manuel Neuer was Herculean in the first half, but Lionel Messi was magical during the second 45. Barca have one foot in the final.
May 6, 2015, 3:59 PM EDT
Real lead for a third-straight year, but Bayern Munich, United are the big climbers.
May 6, 2015, 2:59 PM EDT
Chaos in Spain as soccer is officially suspended.
May 6, 2015, 2:19 PM EDT
Listen to the latest pod, right here:
May 6, 2015, 1:54 PM EDT
Robert Lewandowski will play despite facial injuries, but a host of other Bayern players are out as Pep Guardiola returns to the Nou Camp.
May 6, 2015, 12:53 PM EDT
Two training ground injuries to both Philadelphia goalkeepers in a matter of seconds has Rais Mbolhi the only man currently under contract who is fit to start.
May 6, 2015, 12:20 PM EDT
They’ll have their defender back, but they can’t have the match back, and that may be the most painful.
May 6, 2015, 11:40 AM EDT
The Galaxy have signed a young American midfielder to give them a spark.
May 6, 2015, 10:48 AM EDT
He could bring balance back to the Juventus midfield for the second leg.
May 6, 2015, 9:49 AM EDT
Oh dear. Ohhhhhh dear. We all know how this one ends. All over YouTube.
May 6, 2015, 9:26 AM EDT
“Dressed in black as always” Diego Simeone says all he wants to do is manage the teams he played for.
May 6, 2015, 8:22 AM EDT
Young Mateo got the surprise of a lifetime on what he though was another routine call with a doctor.
May 6, 2015, 7:50 AM EDT
Birmingham City confirmed Packwood’s early release from his contract to “possibly” join the Revolution, whatever that means.
May 5, 2015, 11:25 PM EDT
If you’d like your supporters group to be featured on future episodes of ‘I Was There’ simply send pictures/video to @NBCSportsSoccer or on NBC Sports Soccer on Facebook using the #IWasThere hashtag.
- Three things we learned from Barcelona’s huge win vs. Bayern Munich 2
- Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich: Messi magic negates Neuer’s first-half heroics 0
- Spanish FA suspends all domestic games over government dispute 2
- Men In Blazers podcast: Chelsea champs, relegation probe, and Domhnall Gleeson 0
- Freak double injury suddenly puts Rais Mbolhi back in pole position to start for Philadelphia 1
- Luis Suarez surprises Uruguayan cancer patient with video call, brings him to tears 2