Match Analysis: Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador

Match Analysis: Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador
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Sports Mole analyses Switzerland's dramatic late win against Ecuador in Group E of the World Cup.

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.

Here, Sports Mole analyses the action to see whether the points went the right way.

Match statistics

Switzerland
Shots: 14
On target: 6
Possession: 56%
Corners: 8
Fouls: 9

Ecuador
Shots: 11
On target: 6
Possession: 44%
Corners: 5
Fouls: 14

Was the result fair?

Certainly the last-gasp nature of the defeat was incredibly harsh on Ecuador and overall neither side really did enough to win what was an end-to-end contest. Ecuador were deservedly ahead at the break as they took advantage of a strong start to go in front midway through the half. However, Switzerland responded well and got level. Then came the cruel twists as with the last kick of an even game the Europeans took all three points. On balance, a draw would have been a just result.

Switzerland's performance

It was a game of two halves for Switzerland, really. For the first part of the opening half Switzerland struggled to get any kind of passing move going. They were being closed down right into their own half and in attack they could not create chances. Xherdan Shaqiri's crossing was off and there were too many shots from distance. After the Ecuador goal, however, they started to gel and were deservedly level after the break. In the second half it was very even and really could have gone any way, but they were the fortunate ones in the end.

Ecuador's performance

Their performance really did not deserve to end in defeat this evening. To start with, they pressed and harried their European opponents and were on top of the game. They got the goal just as Switzerland started to get back into the game, but after that they did not quite enjoy such a spell of dominance. Their main threat was Enner Valencia, who dropped off the front line into space, while Jefferson Montero drifted in and out, but in general they were solid at the back and dangerous in parts, which was certainly not deserving of zero points.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Walter Ayovi: He was one of the main players to make an obvious impact on the game, and the only one to remain solid throughout. In the first half he completely marked Shaqiri out of the game, was able to cover when Stephan Lichtsteiner got forward and was even able to get up the other end to fizz in a superb cross for the opening goal. He was a constant threat down the left, and it told that Shaqiri was not in the game until he was switched to the middle in the second half.

Biggest gaffe

This has to go to the referee's assistant who decided to rule out a Swiss goal in the second half for offside. The ball was played into the box by Ricardo Rodriguez, with Shaqiri stepping over it. The ball hit an Ecuador defender before falling to Josip Drmic, who scored, but having been onside from the initial pass it really should not have been chalked off. It was a shame, because otherwise all the officials performed well.

Referee performance

Ravshan Irmatov had a very good game. He perhaps might have realised that the final touch for the above incident came off an Ecuador player, but he deserves a lot of credit for the winning goal. In the build-up, Valon Behrami was clattered in midfield, but got back up to collect the ball. The referee played the advantage, and from the very same counter-attack Switzerland stole all three points. He only handed out cards where necessary, and generally went unnoticed - which is a huge positive.

What next?

Switzerland: Up next for Switzerland is the big one against France on July 20. They will, however, go into the game in high spirits thanks to their late goal, rather than potentially looking at an early exit had they lost.

Ecuador: The South American side simply have to win in their next game against Honduras. Anything else will see them face a huge ask against France, potentially even being eliminated. Even a win may not be enough now, but getting the points is all that matters.

Switzerland's forward Haris Seferovic celebrates after scoring during a Group E football match between Switzerland and Ecuador at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 15, 2014
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