The Copa America Group B match between Ecuador and Peru had plenty of highlights and a few, well, lowlights. In the end, Ecuador will have to be happy with having erased a 2-0 first-half deficit to share the spoils with one match remaining in the group stage.
A few reactions:
Peru's Christian Cueva scored one of the goals of the tournament. He displayed a remarkable first touch to receive and turn with the ball before nutmegging his defender and ripping the game's first tally.
That turn from Christian Cueva was ! #ECUvPER #MyCopaColors #CopaAmerica https://t.co/gQ8K6FfKnY— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 9, 2016
Enner Valencia of Ecuador took some time to make his presence known, but did so with authority. The aggressive forward from West Ham scored Ecuador's first, about 6 minutes before the half, getting his squad back in the game and the tournament. He was a thorn in the side of Peru throughout the second half, and save for some excellent emergency defending might have doubled his tally and stolen this match for La Tricolor.
Despite going in opposite directions in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying (Peru is 1-1-4 and Ecuador is 4-1-1), the match looked to be a lopsided affair for Peru from early on. Some wild and ambitious moments in the first four minutes culminated in Cueva's opening goal, and it was all Peru from there until Valencia found his stride.
The second half was contested more evenly, but fouls and testy moments in the box came aplenty.
Cool thing about South American soccer: Even games with less sexy teams like Peru & Ecuador can turn into great theater.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 9, 2016
Ecuador's Gabriel Achilier was sent off with a second yellow in second half stoppage time for...well it was bad.
Umm, Ecuador's Achiler just committed the worst "tactical" foul I've ever seen, ref played advantage, and Peru nearly scored anyway.— Kyle Kepner (@KyleJKepner) June 9, 2016
THAT. WAS. CLOSE. #ECUvPER #MyCopaColors https://t.co/oByD2ykuig— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 9, 2016
Peru now moves into second place in Group B, a country mile behind Brazil who now has a +6 goal differential but sits likewise on 4 points. Ecuador comes in behind with 2 points, and a date with Haiti waiting.