Brazil vs. Ecuador Recap: La Tricolor Robbed of Win by Officiating Mistake

After Copa America Centenario Group B started of with Peru eking out a result against a resilient Haiti, the final match of the night, Brazil vs. Ecuador, graced the pitch at the Rose Bowl with contrasting styles. Brazil’s possession and passing would meet with Ecuador’s quick counter attacks, but neither side was able to penetrate the other despite several wonderful chances. Instead of highlight reel goals, however, this match gave near misses and a controversial officiating mistake that cost La Tricolor three points.

Brazil vs. Ecuador Recap

Right from the start, this match had the makings of something fun. Brazil, despite missing several of their stars, had their attractive possession and passing based style on display. Ecuador was equally potent with their quick counter attacking play spearheaded by West Ham United’s Enner Valencia. Both contrasting styles provided a most watchable match with plenty of solid chances early on.

Brazil’s main focal point was attacking through Willian down whichever flank he felt like exploiting. The Chelsea standout was the leader of  the attack any time El Seleção marched forward and he quickly developed a dangerous connection with Philippe Coutinho. The pair provided Brazil with it’s first great chance within six minutes of play and continued to pester the Ecuador defense for the entire night.

Unfortunately, This match could not make it through without having a major impact. Ecuador though they had gone in front on one of their counter attacks in the 66th minute. Antonio Valencia had an attack down the left flank approach the end line. He played a cross straight into goalkeeper Alisson Becker at the near post, who promptly fumbled the ball into his own net. The entire stadium thought it was a goal, but assistant referee whistled the play dead, saying the ball had gone out of play before Valencia’s cross was played. Every replay shown provided no conclusive evidence showing the ball completely crossing the line. Brazil appeared to have gotten away with what could have been a critical error.

Inconsistent officiating was pretty much a theme for the night. Early on, it looked as if the referee would allow the teams to play through some aggressive challenges. As the match wore on and became more of a chippy affair, the cards came out and the whistle went for far less egregious fouls than ones that were being let go early on.

Ecuador will be more satisfied with this result. The point against the group favorites gives them a chance at winning the group on goal difference. Seeing as how they can play as favorites in their final two group stage matches against Haiti and Peru, they can adopt a more possession based style that Brazil ineffectually displayed in the opener.

Speaking of Brazil, while really expecting a win on their way to a perfect group stage, they will take the point and run after getting away with the mistake that should have been the only goal of the match. It’s not difficult to say that they should have lost this match thanks to their poor finishing and what should have been the biggest goalkeeping mistake of the young tournament. They, too, should have no issue with Haiti and Peru to close out this group with seven points. Their attack is far too powerful, even without the likes of Neymar or Kaka pulling the strings.

Next up for Brazil is a match with Haiti on Wednesday night at 7:30pm EDT in Orlando. Ecuador heads to Glendale, Arizona to take on group leaders Peru that same night at 10:00pm EDT.

Group B Standings:
Peru- 3pts, +1 GD
Brazil- 1 pt, 0 GD
Ecuador- 1 pt, 0 GD
Haiti- 0 pts, -1 GD

Main Image: Frederic J. Brown, Getty Images

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