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Brazil 1-1 Ecuador: 5 Talking points as Eder Militao scores for much-changed Selecao | Copa America 2021

Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021
Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021

Brazil could only play out a 1-1 draw against Ecuador in their final group stage game in Copa America 2021. Tite rested key players, including Neymar, after his team had already topped Group B.

The hosts took the lead from Eder Militao's towering header in the 37th minute. Ecuador looked dangerous after the restart and got their equalising goal in the 53rd minute when substitute Angel Mena found the back of the net with a thumping strike from close range.

Thanks to Peru's 1-0 win over Venezuela, Ecuador qualified for the Copa America 2021 quarter-finals. They now await the results in Group A to find out whom they'll face next.

In the absence of regular starters Neymar and Casemiro, Brazil lacked creativity going forward and were not their usual solid selves in the middle of the park. The two stars were rested, as Brazil had qualified for the quarter-finals with a game to spare.

Eventually, the draw was a result that suited both teams, so neither made any concerted effort to win it in the closing stages. On that note, let's take a look at the five talking points from the game.


#5 Brazil can't keep a clean sheet at the moment

Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021
Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021

Brazil conceded a goal for the second game in a row in Copa America. Having kept clean sheets in their opening two fixtures of the tournament, the hosts got their campaign off to a flying start.

Against Ecuador, they took the lead in the first half but could not hold on to it. The visitors had eight shots in the game, two more than Brazil, finding the back of the net early in the second half.

Though Brazil avoided a loss on the day, the fact that they are letting in goals cheaply does not bode well for them, especially with the knockout stage looming over the weekend. Even against Colombia, Brazil had to wait till injury time to score the winner. While they have conceded just two goals in four games at the ongoing Copa America 2021, Brazil need to shore up their defence.


#4 Brazil's winning streak comes to an end

Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021
Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021

Brazil were hoping to finish their Copa America group stage campaign with a win but had to settle for a draw. They were not particularly effective going forward against Ecuador. After the visitors scored the equaliser, they sat back, which further diminished Brazil's chances of scoring the winner.

The draw brought to an end Brazil's 10-game winning streak across all competitions. Their last loss was against Argentina in a friendly in November 2019.

The absence of key players from their starting XI played a role in Brazil not beating Ecuador. But that could change come the knockout rounds.


Also Read: 10 best goalkeepers in the world this season (2020-21).

#3 No Neymar, no party for Brazil

Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021
Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021

Neymar has been one of the best players at Copa America 2021, and his contributions to Brazil's attack have been crucial. He inspired them to a comeback against Colombia, something that could have happened against Ecuador as well.

Instead, the Paris Saint-Germain star did not play this game alongside Fred and Gabriel Jesus, while Richarlison and Casemiro came off the bench.

In Neymar's absence, Brazil did not look at their fluent best going forward, with chances being few and far between. The hosts could only muster six shots, of which only three were on target. Neymar's creativity and drive were sorely missed by Brazil, who did not win a game for the first time in more than a year.


#2 Ecuador make it to the quarterfinals without a win

Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021
Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021

Ecuador had failed to win a single game at Copa America 2021, drawing three of their four games. Despite a draw against Brazil, with three points to their name, they managed to secure a passage into the knockout round of the competition.

Ecuador are the only side in the quarterfinals not to have not won a single game in the competition this year. Their cause was helped by Peru, who beat Venezuela, who had as many as eight players ruled out because of COVID-19 related protocols.

Having missed out on qualification last time around, Ecuador will be happy to have secured a place in the quarter-finals this time around. A draw against Brazil could do wonders to their confidence.


#1 Brazil seem overreliant on their regular starters

Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021
Brazil vs Ecuador: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021

Brazil have one of the strongest and most well-balanced squads in the competition at the moment. There is quality in virtually every single position on the pitch. but in the game against Ecuador, they struggled in the absence of a few regular starters.

Neymar was the biggest absentee in their starting XI, and his creativity in the final third was sorely missed. Casemiro's tough-tackling and effortless defending was also missed in midfield. The only player who impressed in the pair's absence was Lucas Paqueta, while the likes of Fabinho, Gabigol and Douglas Luiz failed to impress.

This is not something to be concerned about for Tite, as none of his regular starters are injured at the moment. But he would want his bench players to step up when called upon.


Also Read: 10 highest-paid goalkeepers in the world.

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Edited by Bhargav
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