Live Commentary: Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador - as it happened

Live Commentary: Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador - as it happened
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Relive Sports Mole's live text commentary from Group E of the World Cup as Switzerland beat Ecuador in Brasilia.

Switzerland secured a crucial win over Ecuador in the opening match of Group E, courtesy of a dramatic late goal from Haris Seferovic on the counter-attack.

Ecuador went into a 1-0 lead at the break when Enner Valencia headed in a brilliant Walter Ayovi cross, but Switzerland levelled shortly after the restart from a Admir Mehmedi header.

Just as Ecuador had the chance to win, Switzerland broke and Seferovic finished it off with a poked finish from Ricardo Rodriguez's low cross.

Read how the drama unfolded below.


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4.02pmHello football fans! It has been alright so far, hasn't it?! We're hoping for another excellent contest here between two teams who, on paper, are fairly well matched. It really could go either way.

4.05pmGroup E is a very intriguing one indeed. France look as strong as they have done for years and are most likely to top the group, but Switzerland, Ecuador and even Honduras all have a realistic claim to get through. A win here for either side would be massive in the grand scheme of the group.

4.08pmSwitzerland are the top seeds in the group and hold a place in the top 10 in the world. They went unbeaten in their qualification campaign in a group containing both Slovenia and Norway. It was not the most tricky group that they could have had, but still they showed plenty under Ottmar Hitzfeld.

4.11pmEcuador just edged out the much-fancied Uruguay in the CONMEBOL qualifying to get through to the tournament outright. They scored the fewest of all the South American teams who are in the World Cup, but they were also excellent at the back. They are strong going forward, so should create plenty of chances this afternoon.

4.14pmRight, we have the team news in, so let's take a look at who's playing. Both squads have their fair share of talent so this one really could be decided by the tactics.

4.16pmSWITZERLAND XI: Benaglio; Lichtsteiner, Von Bergen, Djourou, Rodriguez; Inler, Behrami; Xhaka, Shaqiri, Mehmedi; Drmic

4.18pmECUADOR XI: Dominguez; Paredes, Guagua, Erazo, Ayovi; A. Valencia, Gruezo, Noboa, Montero; E. Valencia, Caicedo

4.21pmSo that does look like a strong, young Swiss side. Xherdan Shaqiri is their standout player, of course, but with that powerful midfield and Josip Drmic, who thoroughly impressed in a really disappointing season for Nuremberg, they could threaten quite a few teams. They also have one of my favourite left-backs in world football, Ricardo Rodriguez.

4.25pmEcuador, however, have plenty of threats themselves. Jefferson Montero is really exciting to watch with his quick and powerful runs, while Felipe Caicedo is capable of doing all the roles that a forward requires. This one is certainly not decided on paper and, with Manchester United's Antonio Valencia in there as well there is plenty of experience to boot.

4.29pmAlthough both teams are fairly strong at the back - Switzerland perhaps more so - I do expect a few goals from this one. Both teams will know that this is a great chance to get one over on their likely rivals for second spot behind France and will probably go for it. Gokhan Inler, Valon Behrami and Granit Xhaka have a really good mix of ability and agility in the middle of the park.

4.33pmHow have the two teams fared in their warm-up games for the tournament? Well, Switzerland have done pretty well and have continued with their fine defence that they showed throughout the qualifying campaign. They only conceded six then, and they have yet to see one hit the back of their net in May or June, with two wins.

4.36pm

4.39pmFirst, at the end of May, they beat Jamaica 1-0 with a late goal from Drmic, before a much more impressive showing against Peru. They won that one 2-0, against with some late strikes - Stephan Lichtsteiner on 78 and Shaqiri on 84. They were the stronger team throughout and that lineup much more closely resembles the one today. Expect plenty of pace from them down the flanks.

4.43pmEcuador were more disappointing in their warm-up games, although they did play a higher calibre of opposition. Things started well with a 1-1 draw against Netherlands in the middle of May - Montero scoring for them early on. They were then comfortably outclassed by Mexico, with Enner Valencia scoring a consolation 10 minutes from time.

4.46pmThen came the very good contest against England under two weeks ago. They showed their good side and bad one against the Three Lions. At times both Valencias were unplayable, and at others there were gaping holes in the defence. For a team that only conceded a goal per game in qualifying, they have been concerning at the back in recent games.

4.49pmSo which of these two do I think will be most likely to join France - that's not a certainty, of course... - in the next round? I really do like this Swiss squad, with a good balance of trickery, pace and power. They have some young players, but I don't think they're too young to impress yet. They have a stronger team throughout than Ecuador and that should just about see them through. Their first quarter-final since 1956 is a possibility, but further than that would be very unlikely. I think they'll come second in Group E, though.

4.52pmI'd best make a prediction, I suppose! This is one of the harder ones to call, I think, but if it goes to form I think Switzerland will win 2-1. They should have just about too much in defence for Ecuador, and with Drmic and Shaqiri they will create chances as well. Drmic got his big move to Bayer Leverkusen, and now is his chance to prove himself on the big stage. He's still just 21, remember, but has a mentality that defies his years.

4.55pmSo the players are out on the pitch and here we go with the national anthems. Switzerland, in their typical red, are up first. The round cover of the stadium is making a lovely shadow on the pitch. This is sunny Brazil. Ecuador, strangely, play in their blue change strip - does yellow clash with red? The shirt selections are confusing, aren't they?

4.58pmFormalities done, we're almost time for kickoff. It has been an outstanding tournament so far, so let's hope the run without a goalless draw continues. So many goals was absolutely unheard of in South Africa and let's be honest - it's refreshing.

1 minKICKOFF: We're underway then, and it's a very early corner for Ecuador!

3 minJohan Djourou was up above everyone to head away the early corner, and that will feel good for him to get a good early touch. Ecuador have started brightly and have closed down Switzerland's defence well, but Caicedo just cannot get on to the end of his own block.

5 minAlready Behrami is making himself known with a swipe from behind as he is turned by Noboa. E Valencia does well on the left to earn a second corner for the men in blue. Really promising stuff from Ecuador, but no chances as yet.

7 minThe Swiss are just not being allowed time on the ball, but they finally get the luck of the bounce and Lichtsteiner is set away down the right. He gets the better of Ayovi but his cross is too deep and is sliced out of play at the far post. Switzerland seem surprised at Ecuador's intensity so far.

10 minLichtsteiner is another player who's wearing those weird one pink, one blue boots. The campaign for them was supposed to unlock hidden potential in players. For me, it's the foot inside the boot that holds the magic. Switzerland have enjoyed a spell of possession in the last few minutes but, as the Mexican wave suggests, nothing is really happening.

13 minReall good defending there from Guagua as Drmic was very nearly in behind. He shaped to shoot on his left foot, but Guagua committed himself into the tackle and won the ball. A minute or so later Xhaka has his first effort from some 35 yards on the half-volley, but it was watched just high and wide by Dominguez.

16 minSHOT! Behrami has been too sloppy so far in midfield. The Ecuador players seem to be aware that he has the tendency to overplay and they are hounding him. Rodriguez gets his first chance to cross from the left, but it's cleared. Shaqiri then takes on a couple of players from deep before shooting from 20 yards, but it was low and comfortable for Dominguez. Better from the Bayern Munich man, however.

18 minHalf-chance for Ecuador there as Gruezo drives forward before finding A Valencia to his left. His shot is blocked up in the air and a free kick goes the way of Benaglio as he punched clear. He could have held that, and in truth is lucky to win the foul, because his punch did not go very far.

19 minSAVE! What a left foot Rodriguez has. He shoots from a fairly non-dangerous 30 yards wide on the left, but Dominguez makes something of a meal of it and fumbles it behind. I think he was caught by surprise, but he needs to be aware of the threat that left boot of the Wolfsburg man poses.

22 minGOAL! Switzerland 0-1 Ecuador (E Valencia)

22 minIf you want to see a free kick that is nigh-on impossible for a goalkeeper to deal with, watch that one. The ball is whipped in by the left boot of Ayovi, and Benaglio just cannot come for it with the power on it. He's not helped by his defence, who allow Valencia to nod home from six yards out unchallenged. What a delivery and Ecuador's start here has deserved that goal.

25 minAyovi has been heavily involved so far. From left-back he's having to man-mark Shaqiri and is practically the Swiss's shadow out there. He's also having to watch the runs of Lichtsteiner and now take their dangerous free kicks from the left. He's been almost faultless so far, but has to keep it up. A Swiss corner is played short before being whipped into the arms of Dominguez by Shaqiri from an angle. They've not yet got going in attack.

28 minThe role that Ayovi is playing means that Montero has not been as much of a threat in attack as he might have liked to be. That matters little, as it's a team game of course, but he would like to have a chance to drive at Lichtsteiner at some point. Stocker heads a corner wide of the near post in about Switzerland's best chance so far.

31 minGood, strong defending from Von Bergen there as Ecuador looked to break through Caicedo. He did enough to force Caicedo into a heavy touch to lose possession. Switzerland are still really struggling on the ball - they're just being followed everywhere by blue shirts and haven't had any space so far.

33 minStocker is just coming into this a little more in the last few minutes, and nearly has his head taken off by Paredes, who cleared the ball behind just before the Swiss player got there with his head. A risky piece of defending that, as if Stocker got the touch then he's running the risk of a really dangerous tackle. So far, so good though for the Ecuador defence, who have tightened up well from their warm-up games.

34 minDecent bit of build-up there for Switzerland. Lichtsteiner, right up the other end again, plays a one-two with Drmic and has his cross deflected behind for a corner. From it, Behrami heads back towards goal, but Dominguez makes a comfortable save low down. It was better from Drmic a minute ago as he finally dropped in to help the midfield - he's been isolated for much of the half so far.

36 minBig claims for handball from the Switzerland players there. Good football on the edge of the box allows Shaqiri a shooting chance. He's quickly closed down and both he and Drmic think it has cannoned off Guagua's hand, but the referee waves play on. It has opened up a bit in the last few, but as Switzerland break again Xhaka is forced back from the left with no support. It's then Inler's turn to shoot as he strikes left-footed but it's turned around the post.

40 minCan the Swiss get back into this before the break? So far they've put in a lot of deep crosses and have had a few strikes from range, but have yet to really test the Ecuador keeper. He's dealt with the crosses well, but could be shaky from shots.

43 minFirst real sight there for Montero. He finally gets his opportunity to drive at Switzerland but after cutting in his shot is finally blocked by Djourou - that's a really fantastic block, in fact, because the shot was travelling.

45 minBrilliant strength again from Guagua there, as Shaqiri sells Stocker a bit short with a pass and he's totally outmuscled by the Ecuador defender. We will have one minute of time added on at the end of the half.

45+1 minHALF-TIME: Switzerland 0-1 Ecuador

5.49pmSo Ecuador have won the tactical battle so far. Switzerland's key player Shaqiri has been kept quiet by firstly Ayovi's energy in closing him down whenever he has been on the ball and secondly the player's own inability to cross so far. He has overhit most of his opportunities to get it into the box and has also shot a couple of times instead of passing.

5.53pmAs for the goal, it was as good a delivery as you are likely to see, but I would still have liked one of the Swiss defenders to challenge Valencia at least slightly. Ayovi's ball in from the left was right where Benaglio couldn't gather it and Valencia had an easy task of heading low and in. It has been a good game and I would say Ecuador do deserve their lead.

5.57pmSomething has to change for Switzerland. Their strong - on paper - midfield has been shown absolutely no respect and they have had no space at all to work in. Can Ecuador keep up their pressure is the big question, I suppose, but with lots of corners and free kicks for both teams an improvement in Shaqiri's delivery could be Switzerland's best chance to get back in it.

46 minKICKOFF: The men in red get us back underway for the second half. Admir Mehmedi is on for Stocker at the break.

47 minCLOSE! Good effort from Lichtsteiner, who cuts inside Ayovi and shoots on his left, but there's a slight touch as it fizzes low just past the far post.

48 minGOAL! Switzerland 1-1 Ecuador (Admir Mehmedi)

48 minWell, that's a fantastic change from Hitzfeld! Rodriguez puts the corner right into the six yard box, again where the goalkeeper cannot reach it, and Mehmedi powers his header in. It's Switzerland's first World Cup goal against South American opponents and a dream WC debut for Mehmedi!

51 minThis will be very intersting now! Shaqiri has switched with Xhaka into the number 10 role in order to hopefully have more of a say in the game. Ayovi had him in his pocket in the first half, so now let's see what the centre-back pairing, and perhaps Noboa, are made from.

52 minCHANCE! A different type of free kick there from Ecuador, and it was nearly effective. Gruezo peeled off to the far post and headed back across for Valencia, but this time the header goes over the bar from quite a difficult position.

53 minBOOKING! Paredes goes into the book for a cynical, late lunge on Mehmedi. The referee could have played advantage, but decided to quickly show the yellow instead. There are no complaints from the Ecuador right-back, and in fact he's got away with it as the play was stopped - you can do that once in a game, and that was his.

55 minWhat a waste there from Mehmedi! The Swiss break brilliantly with Shaqiri leading it through the middle. He looks for Mehmedi to his left, who cuts in and then for some reason clips a ball out of play at the far post when he had Shaqiri just to his left and Drmic wanting it through the middle. That was a really good chance to create something.

57 minVery, very ambitious effort from Gruezo there. After a cross the ball comes out to the youngster and his eyes light up as it sits up really well for him. However, he cannot get it back down and it flies over.

60 minCLOSE! Great effort by E Valencia again. He comes in from the left and shoots when he's fairly central, but cannot get enough whip on his effort and it goes just a yard wide of the post. It had the power to beat Benaglio, but not the accuracy.

62 minWe haven't seen a lot of the Ecuador skipper Valencia as yet. He's sent away scampering down the right a few moments ago, but his deep cross doesn't cause any trouble at the far post. Just after that Noboa goes for goal around 30 yards out, but Benaglio gets down and to his right to cling on. Ecuador are just getting on top here.

64 minMontero has been pretty quiet in this half, largely because he has been harassed by Lichtsteiner and one other every time he has touched it. Von Bergen nearly gets a boot in the face for his troubles from Valencia as he shepherds the ball out of play well.

66 minSAVE! That's better from Montero as he's sent away by a clever pass from Caicedo. Lichtsteiner just about keeps on his feet as the winger twists and turns and in the end Benaglio puts it behind for a corner at his near post. That's the first time Montero has had any joy out of Lichtsteiner all half.

69 minSwitzerland are really struggling at the moment, and just cannot get any meaningful possession. Ecuador break again with Montero finding E Valencia, but Djourou is in really well with a sliding tackle before they manage to clear.

70 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Drmic thinks that he has scored, but the goal is ruled out for offside. There were a few deflections as Shaqiri put it through to him, but even from behind the play the Bayer man did look to be offside. Meanwhile, Caicedo makes way for Michael Arroyo for Ecuador.

72 minI've seen a replay and that goal probably shouldn't have been ruled out! The initial pass came on from Rodriguez on the left was in fact left by Shaqiri, who stepped over it, and then it came off a defender into Drmic. The striker was onside from the initial pass so that one should have stood. Shaqiri flashes a shot into the side netting before at the other end Von Bergen defends well after Benaglio completely gets a swept clearance wrong.

75 minSWITZERLAND SUB: Drmic is making way for Haris Seferovic. The starter was a bit quiet, to be honest, and not at all how he was all last season for Nuremberg.

76 minECUADOR SUB: Montero is making way, who looks fairly tired. On comes Joao Rojas, who will run at Lichtsteiner now for 15 minutes.

79 minThe changes seem to have helped Switzerland more than Ecuador, as they are now enjoying a spell of possession. There's still no way through, however, and they;re going to need a bit of magic to work something I feel. A cross from Rodriguez has Dominguez troubled, and his punch fortunately falls to a teammate.

80 minThat's a silly challenge there from Noboa, who takes down Shaqiri from behind around 20 yards out. A really good chance from the free kick, now. Could this be the moment of magic?

82 minNo. It's a training ground free kick with a touch to Shaqiri, but as he angles it towards the far corner it's easily blocked by the wall. He has been disappointing with his delivery so far and hasn't stood out as was expected.

84 minBOOKING! Djourou goes into the book and a bit closer to goal it might have been red. He's done by the run of Valencia and as Ayovi plays it through he's hauled back by the former Arsenal man. Von Bergen was well-placed alongside him and might be the reason that was only yellow.

86 minNow a dangerous free kick for Ecuador, just about 30 yards out. It's quite central, so a good spot...

86 minSAVE! At first it looks as though Benaglio has almost spilled that, but the free kick took a nick off the wall and he had to react to go back down the other way. His parry takes it to his own player, which is a bit fortunate, but in the end he's done well to keep it out.

88 minIt doesn't look as though there will be another goal in this one, and in fairness a draw would probably be about right. Ecuador are not committing too many men forward now, as another Valencia cross from the right misses everyone - because there was no-one going for it.

90 minThree minutes of time have been added on, and we're just into the first of those. Enough time for one more big chance, but it seems as though both teams have settled for this. It's not really a good result for either side, in truth.

90+2 minA final spell of possession for Switzerland, but again Ecuador get men behind the ball and make it tough to get through. Just one minute left for either side to snatch a priceless win.

90+3 minGOAL! Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador (Seferovic )

90+3 minFULL-TIME! Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador

6.53pmOh what a finish we have had here! At one end Behrami nicks the ball away from Arroyo as he turned to shoot, and all of a sudden it's 2-1! There's a foul in the build-up, but the referee plays advantage as it's sprayed wide to Rodriguez. He picks out Seferovic with a low ball, who stabs into the roof of the net for a dramatic win! What a counter, and it's all come from a match-saving block by Behrami. I'm out of breath!

6.54pmSo it's the Swiss who win this oh-so crucial clash to take the advantage in the qualification race. It will be uphill for Ecuador now, with both sides having France still to play. What a comeback from Switzerland as as exciting as it was it's incredibly harsh on Ecuador.

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba in action for France against Ukraine on November 15, 2013.
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