Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ecuador 1 - Argentina 1

A road win for Argentina in Quito against Ecuador would send the Albiceleste into Brasil 2014 as the first team to qualify out of South America.  In the second minute, Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez chopped down Rodrigo Palacio with his hands after having been beaten, but interestingly the referee saw fit only to issue a yellow card.  Argentina converted the penalty kick for an early 1-0 lead.  Argentina center back Federico Fernandez really should have dealt better with a corner kick for which he failed to even jump as it fell a half-foot over his head.  A thankful Segundo Castillo nodded the ball into the net unmarked to equalize.  The half ended all square at one goal apiece.

Ecuador were completely and utterly dominant in the second period, and their dominance showed in the number of corner kicks they earned throughout the day.  However, when Lionel Messi was substituted onto the pitch at the hour mark, Argentina created the two best chances of the second half.  Angel di Maria and Lionel Messi both narrowly missed the go-ahead goal on counterattacks, thereby not releasing the pressure valve.  Javier Mascherano was shown a red card in an odd incident with less than five minutes to go.  Mascherano was being stretchered off the pitch when someone on the Ecuador sideline throw water on him.  A fight nearly broke out on the sideline between the two benches, but the only result was the sending off of Mascherano.  Argentina escape the altitude with a 1-1 tie, becoming the first team to avoid defeat on the road against Ecuador in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Sergio Aguero 4 PK

Segundo Castillo 17

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