Ener Valencia silenced the home crowd at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday with a brace to give Ecuador a 2-0 win in their tournament opener and three vital points in a group where points will not be easy to come by.
Feather “fifa world cup today” FOX Sports Soccer analysts Jimmy Conrad, Sacha Klejstan and Warren Barton give their three takeaways from the game and discuss how Ecuador broke down Qatar’s defense.
1. Ecuador adjusted its constitution
I thought what Ecuador did was very smart. They went through a stretch of this last six games where they scored only two goals in this last six games and two in a 4-3-3 formation, and it just wasn’t working. Ener Valencia, he plays for his club team Fernandes in a 4–4–2, two-striker formation. He’s better off with a strike partner, and he had them tonight, and it made a huge difference. I don’t know that Qatar was ready for this. I think Qatar could have been more ready for 4-3-3, and it didn’t work. – Conrad
2. Qatar was threatened
He was second best. Ecuador surprised them from the very first minute of the game. Whatever set piece they had, they dropped it into the box, and they were just better. He was winning the first ball, he was winning the second ball. Physically, they took over the game in the second half. They started passing around them, they were playing in their own half. He was the master of the game. that was it. Of course, Ener Valencia, he gets the goals, he gets the credit, but it was a really good team performance. – Klejstan
3. Ecuador’s Stars Shine
The whole goal and the situation and the way he played, apart from Valencia. I’m not saying he’s going to be a superstar because obviously from what we know he is, but he’s made an instant impact. He needed goals. Sascha touched on the point that he keeps clean sheets and does well, but he needs to put the ball in the back of the net, and he looks like the guy to do that. – Barton
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