Copa America 2016: Brazil held to a 0-0 draw by resolute Ecuador
Dani Alves led Brazilian side were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Ecuador in their opening Copa America Centenario match. Although Brazil had most of the chances, the Ecuador backline held on to deny the Selecao.
Brazil: (4-3-3): Alisson; Dani Alves, Marquinhos, Gil, Luis; Elias, Casemiro, Augusto; Willian, Coutinho, Jonas.
Ecuador: (4-2-3-1): Dreer; Paredes, Achilier, Mina, W. Ayovi; Noboa, Gruezo; A. Valencia, Bolanos Montero; E. Valencia.
First Half – Brazil dominate possession while Ecuador look dangerous on the counter-attack
The game started off at breakneck speed with both the teams creating plenty of good openings in the first 10 minutes, the most notable of them being falling to Brazil’ s Coutinho. A pin-point low cross from Willian found Coutinho but Dreer was off his lines quickly to smother the Liverpool man’ s shot.
Brazil quickly started to dominate possession and played some beautiful football, but some brilliant last ditch defending by Ecuador frustrated the Brazilian trio of Willian, Coutinho and Jonas. Although it looked like one way traffic for most of the time, Ecuador showed just how dangerous they can be on the counter-attack when a clearance from the Ecuador defence set up a two-on-two counter attack which could only be thwarted by a cynical Elias foul on Jefferson Montero.
With just 5 minuted left in the first half, Dunga had a real moment of concern when Brazil’s brightest spark Willian went down after a tackle by Gruezo. However, Brazilian concerns were eased soon after as Willian recovered to step onto the pitch. The first half ended goalless although both teams had some very good chances to open the scoring.
Ecuador went into the second half hoping to create history.
Second Half – Defences rule the roost as the game ends without a goal
The second half started off in a more composed manner compared to the fist half although Coutinho and Willian did provide some headaches to the Ecuador backline. The game’s major moment of controversy came when a shot from Enner Valencia crept intp the back of the net after the ball was fumbled horribly by the Brazilian goalkeeper Allison. However, the goal was not allowed as it was deemed that the shot came from beyond the byline. However, today they did play out their first 0-0 draw.
Defences ruled the roost in the second half as both sides struggled to create any real openings. The introduction of Lucas Moura for Willian in the 75th minute seemed to freshen up things a bit for Brazil although the Ecuador backline held on resolutely.
There was not anything much of note in the remaining few minutes as the game petered out to a dull 0-0 draw. The Selecao will need to put on a much better display in their upcoming matches if they are to have any hope of lifting the prestigious trophy.