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Brazil v Ecuador Live Commentary, 28/06/2021

FT
1 - 1
BRA
ECU
Éder Militão (37)
Á. Mena (53)
Estádio Olímpico Pedro Ludovico Teixeira

Commentary

As fourth-place finishers in Group B, Ecuador will remain in Goiania for their quarter-final clash with the winners of the South Zone in Group A - most likely Argentina, given they face winless Bolivia next. Brazil however will take on whoever finishes fourth there too, in reverse hierarchy - with their clash set to play out at Estadio Olímpico Nilton Santos in Rio de Janeiro. Until then however, thank you for joining us - and have a great week!
For the first time since they met in this very competition five years ago, Ecuador have taken points off Brazil - and they will be absolutely delighted. Tite shakes hands with Gustavo Alfaro; the Selecao boss looks like he has been left to simmer for a while. His side should have possibly pushed harder to retake the lead today - but credit where it is due, their opponents, slapdash and rocked by injury early on, rallied superbly to ensure that there would be no early exit.
Angel Mena's rifled volley means that the spoils are shared between Brazil and Ecuador - and that both sides head through to the quarter-finals of the 2021 Copa America! La Tri book their slot after they were able to cancel out Eder Militao's headed opener, edging Venezuela for fourth in Group B - but it is the Selecao who go through as North Zone table-toppers all the same. Full-time in Goiania, it finishes Brazil 1-1 Ecuador.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: BRAZIL 1-1 ECUADOR
90' + 4' No - the set-piece hits the wall and after several nervy moments, Ecuador fire it clear!
90' + 2' Desperate defending is the order of the day in the Ecuador box and Brazil win themselves a free-kick just on the edge. Is there a late cruel sting to hurt La Tri?
90' There's going to be five added minutes, as a half-hearted penalty shout from Richarlison is waved away. Marquinhos punches a header from a subsequent corner over the crossbar. Brazil haven't been able to push on for the killer finish today - but given what they have still to do, it is understandable that this game may have been considered more of a formal exercise than a must-win in the circumstances.
88' A quick update as Ecuador continue to push, attempting to stall any potential Selecao counter-breaks; it is still 1-0 to Peru against Venezuela. As it stands, La Tri are headed to the quarter-finals.
86' Ecuador spear long throws into the Brazil box, all for nothing, as they continue to press hard. If there is a winner in this game, momentum suggests it may be theirs - and what a result that would be.
M. Pineida
A. Preciado
Ecuador
84' Mario Pineida replaces Ayrton Preciado in Ecuador's next change too. This game is starting to wind down and the visitors will hope any twist in the tail of this tale does not go against them.
L. Campana
E. Valencia
Ecuador
83' Leonardo Campana is on a moment later then, to replace Enner Valencia, who landed that fine assist earlier on. Will his efforts prove to be vital enough in the end?
P. Estupiñán
Yellow Card
Ecuador
83' Estupinan comes whiling in on Richarlison now with a particularly careless challenge, as the Everton man looks to break downfield, and he picks up a booking for his troubles.
82' Remember that brutally low pass success rate for Ecuador? They've hauled it up to 80 per cent now, and have hovered around that mark or above since half-time. It is a vastly more disciplined performance in distribution terms after the break.
80' Angel Mena! That could have been number two for the Ecuador man, were it not for Alisson's meaty glove. It's a tough shot but the substitute almost got that one in the top-right corner. Fine, hearty stuff, this game; an industrial raid of a match, stocky and ragged in all the most oddly alluring ways.
Éverton Ribeiro
Lucas Paquetá
Brazil
78' Everton Ribeiro meanwhile also replaces Lucas Paqueta for Brazil.
Richarlison
Éverton
Brazil
78' Richarlison replaces Everton in the Selecao's next swap.
76' For a match that has not spawned too many bona-fide brilliant shots the way these Copa America contests - indeed, all tournament football - can sometimes breed, it's been a particularly entertaining second half, ever since Ecuador started hustling for that goal. Brazil are poised to make more changes now.
74' Tite has grown increasingly animated throughout the second half, especially since his side let their lead go. As both teams have a cooling break, the former carries the air of an angry monarch from his technical area perch.
G. Plata
D. Palacios
Ecuador
72' Gonzalo Plata replaces Diego Palacios in Ecuador's next change, their first of the second half.
71' With less than a quarter of this contest on the clock, it's been set up quite nicely. Can either side find a winner? Or are Brazil content - having won their last three - to settle for a draw here? Ecuador certainly aren't.
69' After a pause for Preciado to be treated, the set-piece is whistled in and Ecuador see it away cautiously. Their momentum has been checked for now, but Gustavo Alfaro continues to roar them on from the sidelines. Never mind this being an empty stadium, he's making enough noise to make the visitors feel on home turf alone.
67' Those changes have had an immediate impact for Brazil. It's almost as if the kid gloves have come off. Emerson just misses out on a ball now, floated to the right edge of the six-yard area again. It's a corner to the hosts.
65' An almost immediate impact from Vinicius Junior! The Real Madrid man just slides a finish wide of the right post after a fast-pressing counter, having caught the ball off the inside of his wrong foot as he attempted to reach it.
Casemiro
Douglas Luiz
Brazil
63' Having been involved in a few heavy duty challenges too, Brazil pull Douglas Luiz and introduce the evergreen Casemiro.
Vinícius Júnior
Roberto Firmino
Brazil
63' Tite has obviously decided that fresh blood is need - and Vinicius Junior is the first new face, taking the place of Roberto Firmino. Only Gabriel Barbosa has had less passes as an outfield player than the Liverpool man for Brazil tonight - he's been kept quiet.
61' Big news elsewhere in Group B as the hour-mark ticks over - Peru are now leading Venezuela. If results hold, Ecuador are heading to the quarter-finals - in fact, they could still go behind to Brazil by one and qualify as long as Peru do not slip to a draw themselves, given Ecuador and Venezuela both entered the night on two points apiece.
59' Brazil have put together twice as many passes this match as their opponents, and yet the proverbial cut-to-the-chase tactical push of Ecuador is paying dividends so far. What will Tite do to stem the flow of pressure?
57' Emerson - involved in a few hairy challenges so far - drags the back of his leg across Estupinan in a pretty murky challenge. Ecuador break fast and Militao has to head a delivery away to safety before a potential finish can be crafted.
55' So, Ecuador have delivered their reaction - and now, this game looks to Brazil for them to strike the next counter. The Selecao look oddly bemused - though not as much as Gustavo Alfaro, who is practically silent for the first time all game when his team actually nab a goal.
E. Valencia
Assist
Ecuador
53' Enner Valencia had the final header there to set that one up but really, it was a team goal from Ecuador. Brazil will be kicking themselves that they were unable to break up that chain of touches from outside the edge to the heart of the penalty area.
Á. Mena
Goal
Ecuador
53' GOAL! ANGEL MENA LANDS THE EQUALISER FOR ECUADOR! 1-1! What a bit of work that is from the visitors! The substitute makes the most of a poor clearing effort from Brazil, and a succession of short headers somehow tip him into free space on the right of the six-yard area, where he rifles a low finish past Alisson with precision. Game on!
53' This has been some impressively sustained pressure from Ecuador and a deflected volley from Valencia is the latest. There will be a corner for the visitors.
51' Enner Valencia has been in the thick of it tonight and a glancing touch helps tee up a corner for his side now, after Angelo Preciado smacks a shot from outside the box straight into a defender and loops it over. The set-piece flies out for an attacking throw but Brazil keep Ecuador locked in a box.
Danilo
Renan Lodi
Brazil
49' It is indeed Renan Lodi's last act. For whatever apparent injury reason, he's off and Danilo is on.
48' We're barely a few minutes into this next act but Renan Lodi's night looks to sadly be over. He's clutching his stomach and needing words from Alisson. Brazil seem poised to make a change.
46' We're back underway for the second half of this Copa America clash. What do Ecuador have in the bag to rescue their campaign - and more importantly, will it be enough?
Moises Caicedo's injury really took some of the sting and swing out of this game but it has undoubtedly mutated back into a gnarlier beast of sorts. It was a fine header to deliver the goal, but this is a match more likely to spit out bursts of grubby tackling than grandiose triumphs so far.
Eder Militao's gloriously loopy header is the difference in Group B of the 2021 Copa America, as Brazil set themselves on course to make it four wins from four in the North Zone - and put Ecuador on the brink of a tournament exit at Goiania too. Can La Tri turn this around or is it a done deal for the Selecao? At half-time, it is Brazil 1-0 Ecuador.
45' + 3' HALF-TIME: BRAZIL 1-0 ECUADOR
45' + 2' There is not - and there is no further action too a moment later when Estupinan, holding his ground, appears to get poleaxed on the edge of the box by a flying Brazil hip to the face. There is an inconsistency in the quality of the officiating this evening at first glance.
45' Three added minutes are incoming but it may well be more than that, after a three-way collision inside the Brazil box fells two Selecao men and Valencia. The latter appeared to be taken without the ball there. Could there bee any further action?
43' The visitors look to rally the troops now, but they are finding limited options. Brazil spear long again, booming huge cutout deliveries to the wings; they're determined to keep their opponents under the cosh before the break.
41' To confirm then, as it currently stands, this goal - the only one in Group B so far tonight - would mean that Ecuador would be the unlucky side to miss out on the quarter-finals. Given all but two sides at the Copa America make it through to the knockout rounds, it would be a particularly chastening blow.
39' Piero Hincapie has the look of someone who has just smelled a crate of pickled eggs. He is fuming with that effort at the back, but arguably he holds some responsibility too. Ecuador's defence just failed to muscle in on the turf at the right time there.
Éverton
Assist
Brazil
37' That Everton delivery is less pinpoint to a player and more suspended long enough for Brazil to push a body underneath it. Scattering across the box, they drew their markers out of shape - and exploited it keenly. Tite is beaming with that one!
Éder Militão
Goal
Brazil
37' GOAL! EDER MILITAO HEADS BRAZIL INTO THE LEAD! 1-0! Oh, Ecuador will be even less impressed with that call now - it's cost them a clean sheet! The centre-back shrugs off his markers in the box, reads Everton's delivery to a tee and lands a looping header from 10 yards or so out, one whose arc is misjudged by Galindez and settles in the top-right corner. First blood to the Selecao!
37' Pervis Estupinan is less than impressed at being flagged for a foul after Emerson basically runs into him on the right flank, but the call stands and Brazil have a very dangerous free-kick spot out on the wing, just about in line with the box. What can they do here?
35' Neymar - in a lime-green training top - looks less than enthused with what has been served up so far. Despite their obvious shortcomings, Ecuador are not making this an easy night for Tite's men out there.
33' Ecuador flip the switch to exert some pressure down the far end, but their long throws into the box are mopped up easily by a wall of Selecao defenders, who spirit a dangerous long ball downfield, forcing Galindez into action.
31' Gabriel Barbosa thinks he's away now, to give Brazil another crack, but the linesman is quick - and rightfully so - to flag him for offside. He was just a little too eager with his run here.
29' There are dangermen on both sides, but the marginal sense of Ecuador's frustrations giving way towards Brazil's general assertion in games like this is starting to emerge. The Selecao can move through the gears when in the mood - but will they be so tonight?
27' Lucas Paqueta! That's perhaps the nearest Brazil have come to cracking the code in this first half, as the midfielder hooks a finish just wide of the left post from the edge of the box. A deflection carries it out for a subsequent corner that comes to nothing.
25' As if spurned on by the noise their manager is making, La Tri - in a dashing multi-shade blue number today - now nudge a header at Alisson, clocking up their fourth shot of the game. They've remarkably had twice as many as Brazil.
23' With a quarter of the game gone, Brazil are enjoying a superb 92 per cent success rate when it comes to passes. Ecuador are sporting a considerably worse figure; almost half, with 48 per cent, a shockingly concerning number. No wonder Gustavo Alfaro is roaring like a bull in a china shop.
21' Gabi looks particularly unhappy with that whole episode, but he does seem perfectly fine to continue. The burst of knocks and injury issues has slowed what was a frenetic start down into something more peculiarly maudlin. Can either side light this up and make it a party again?
19' Quite why that change took so long for La Tri to implement is on to discuss later. Now Brazil look to have a man in the wars; Gabi, stretching out for a delightful chip, looks to possibly overextend as he collides with goalkeeper Hernan Galindez. The latter gets the save done and the former is fortunately fine.
Á. Mena
M. Caicedo
Ecuador
17' Finally, finally, almost 10 minutes after first sustaining the injury, Moises Caicedo is off for Ecuador. Angel Mena is on in his place.
15' No substitute appears to have made it on for Caicedo - and remarkably, unless there's been a 12th man all along, he still appears to be out there. Lucas Paqueta rattles a shot at goal now for Brazil, to remind everyone that there is a game of football going on here.
13' This has been a bizarre episode in this Copa America clash. Having returned to the field, Caicedo has gone roughly a handful of yards, and promptly rocked back onto his behind, his head in his hands. It's clear he can't continue with whatever that issue is in his leg - and the stretcher is now on, belatedly.
11' Or apparently not - Caicedo is back on merely a minute later, after Enner Valencia attempts to catch Alisson off his line and lash a 40-yard screamer into an empty net.
10' Medics are still attending to Caicedo, as instructions are barked at Ecuador by manager Gustavo Alfaro - and it does look like the former's night may be over already. He's hobbled to the sidelines.
8' Douglas Luiz and Moises Caicedo go airborne together challenging for a high ball - and while the latter looks to have lead into the former's back, it is the Brighton man who comes off worse, clutching at his thigh after coming back to earth awkwardly. Play stops for treatment.
6' Everton is on set-piece duty for the hosts, it seems, and following a clattering challenge on Emerson by Diego Palacios, he turfs a delivery into the Ecuador box. It comes up empty-handed as an opportunity but presents a foothold for Brazil to nestle in for now at least.
4' That being said, Ecuador have more to play for if anything - and they too are showing plenty of beans early on. A misplaced pass in midfield allows them to come forward; Mendez has a half-chance saved and a follow-up is blazed comfortably wide from distance.
2' The Selecao, in their traditional canary yellow and azure strip, have wasted absolutely no time from kick-off in getting themselves into gear. This will be no second-string slugfest, it seems. A penalty call is waved away but they press furiously nonetheless.
1' We are underway in this 2021 Copa America clash between Brazil and Ecuador!
The teams have emerged for the pre-match formalities and we are moments away from kick-off.
Ecuador meanwhile will hope to rely on Ayrton Preciado, who at two goals, is the joint-top scorer so far at the 2021 Copa America. His efforts tonight could be crucial - could he make it three or even four against the favourites?
It's less than a month since these two sides met of course, having crossed swords on the path to Qatar 2022 - and on that occasion, Brazil emerged as 2-0 victors thanks to Richarlison and a Neymar penalty. It's a much-changed Selecao side - but will they do the business just as easily?
Subs: Alexander Dominguez, Fidel Martínez, Gonzalo Plata, Christian Noboa, Michael Estrada, Pedro Ortíz, Felix Torres, Mario Pineida, Xavier Arreaga, Leonardo Campana, Angel Mena, Jordy Caicedo.
ECUADOR (4-4-1-1): Hernan Galindez; Angelo Preciado, Robert Arboleda, Diego Palacios, Piero Hincapie; Moises Caicedo, Jhegson Mendez, Alan Steven Franco, Pervis Estupinan; Ayrton Preciado; Enner Valencia.
Subs: Thiago Silva, Fred, Gabriel Jesus, Danilo, Neymar, Vinicius Junior, Casemiro, Ederson, Alex Sandro, Everton Ribeiro, Richarlison, Weverton.
BRAZIL (4-4-2): Alisson; Emerson, Marquinhos, Eder Militao, Renan Lodi; Everton, Fabinho, Lucas Paqueta, Douglas Luiz; Roberto Firmino, Gabriel Barbosa.
As for Ecuador, a smattering of domestic-based talent is bolstered by the presence of European talent - Enner Valencia and Moises Caicedo among them - while young guns such as Diego Palacios will get the chance to impress too.
It is a testament to the heft that Brazil back in their squad that they can name only two players sporting nominal starting numbers in their first-choice XI today - captain Marquinhos and goalkeeper Alisson - and still look utterly fearsome. Neymar, Thiago Silva, Fred, Danilo and more all have to make do with the bench.
It's going to be an almighty task against a nation they've beaten only twice in competitive football however. Brazil's dominance in this fixture stretches back generations; Ecuador recorded their only wins in a three-game spell between 2001 and 2004, both by skinny 1-0 margins.
But for Gustavo Alfaro and his visitors, there is plenty more at stake. Heading into today's final game, draws with Venezuela and Peru mean that they are effectively battling with the pair to take one of the last two Group B spots. Defeat here would leave their rivals needing only a draw to guarantee their place in the quarter-finals; they must pick up points here.
Handed hosting duties mere weeks before the 47th edition of South America's biggest international tournament got underway, Tite's reigning champions have taken to their defence like a duck to water. They are the only side who already know where they will play in the quarter-finals - and they'll wish to warm up with a flourish.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2021 Copa America, as holders Brazil look to make it four North Zone wins from four in their final Group B game against Ecuador at Estadio Olímpico Pedro Ludovico in Goiania.