Football

Copa America: Ecuador ends Brazil’s winning run, qualify for quarterfinals

Brazil’s ten-game winning run came to an end after Ecuador earned a 1-1 draw in the final Copa America group game in Goiania.

Brazil’s ten-game winning run came to an end after Ecuador earned a 1-1 draw in the final Copa America group game in Goiania.

Coach Tite made ten changes from the midweek win over Colombia as Neymar, Casemiro, Thiago Silva and Richarlison were rested.

The reigning champions had already booked their spot in the next round as group winners and Venezuela’s defeat to Peru, means Ecuador join Brazil in the final eight.

And it was nearly the perfect start for Brazil as Renan Lodi broke clear down the left and looked to be bundled over inside the box within the opening minute. The referee and VAR disagreed.

Brighton’s Moises Caicedo was then stretchered off on 17 minutes with a knee injury in a blow to Ecuador, with Angel Mena coming on.

Then Ecuador skipper Enner Valencia came close to scoring the goal of the tournament.

He spotted Alisson off his line and sent a shot from the halfway line goalwards and with the Liverpool keeper losing his footing as he retreated to his line, he was glad to see it land on the roof of his net.

Brazil then had big chances through Gabi with a 1v1 attempt which Galindez rushed off his line to prevent before Lucas Paqueta sent a shot inches wide from the edge of the area.

But they did break the deadlock on 37 minutes through Eder Militao who powered a header back where it came from and into the top corner – the Real Madrid defender’s first goal for Brazil.

Ecuador then equalised eight minutes into the second half after an initial corner was headed clear by the Brazil defence but it was helped back into the box by three consecutive Ecuador headers.

The final one by Valencia helped the ball into the box and into the path of substitute Mena who smashed beyond Alisson from six yards.

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