Enner Valencia silenced the home crowd at the Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday with a brace that gave Ecuador a 2-0 opener in the tournament and a crucial three points in a group where points will not be easy to come by .
Turned on “FIFA World Cup Today”, FOX Sports soccer analysts Jimmy Conrad, Sacha Kljestan and Warren Barton gave their three takeaways from the match and discussed how Ecuador broke down Qatar’s defense.
1. Conrad: Ecuador adjusted their formation
What Ecuador did was very, very smart. It had gone through this stretch of the last six games where they only scored two goals in the last six before this game and they scored two goals in a 4-3-3, and it didn’t work.
Enner Valencia plays with his team, Fernabace, in a 4-4-2, a formation of two strikers. He’s better with a strike mate, and they had that on Sunday night, and it made a huge difference. I don’t know if Qatar was ready for that. Qatar could have been more prepared for a 4-3-3, and it didn’t work.
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2. Kljestan: Qatar suffered harassment
They were the second best. Ecuador overwhelmed them from the first minute of the game. Every piece they had, they just dropped it in the box and they were better. They were winning the first balls, they were winning the second balls.
Physically, Ecuador controlled the game in the second half. They started passing around him, playing in his half. They ran the game. That’s all it was. Of course, Enner Valenci gets the goals, and he deserves the credit, but it was a very good performance by the team.
3. Barton: The stars of Ecuador appeared
I’m not saying Valencia is a superstar because we obviously know that, but he’s made an impact right away. They needed goals.
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Ecuador keep a clean sheet and do well, but they needed to put the ball in the back of the net, and Valencia look like the man to do it.
Watch “FIFA World Cup Today” before and after every match of the tournament on Twitter by following @FoxSoccer.
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