Sports, Football

Brazil held by Ecuador WC qualifier

By Reuters
Published : 28 Jan 2022 09:06 PM

Brazil had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Ecuador in a remarkable World Cup qualifier on Thursday after Felix Torres' header 15 minutes from time cancelled out an early Casemiro strike.

The incident-packed clash saw both sides have a player sent off inside the first 20 minutes and Brazil goalkeeper Alisson shown a red card on two occasions only for both to be rescinded after consultation with the Video Assistant referee (VAR).

Ecuador had a goal chalked off and two penalty awards rescinded via VAR, including one in second-half stoppage time.

Casemiro had put Brazil ahead after five minutes when he hammered home from close range after a goalmouth scramble.

Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez was red carded after 15 minutes for a reckless challenge, and Brazil fullback Emerson Royal was dismissed five minutes later for a second yellow card following a clumsy tackle.

Five-times world champions Brazil have already qualified for this year's finals in Qatar along with Argentina, who are playing in Chile on Thursday.

Ecuador are third in the 10-nation South American qualifying standings with 24 points from 15 games.

Uruguay moved into fourth with 19 points after beating Paraguay 1-0 in Asuncion, Luis Suarez getting the winner five minutes into the second half to give new coach Diego Alonso a winning start.

The result keeps Uruguay's qualification hopes alive and dealt a heavy blow to Paraguay, who sit second bottom of the table with 13 points.

Colombia and Peru, who meet on Friday, are on 17 points.

The top four qualify automatically for the World Cup while the fifth-placed side go into a playoff with a team from the Asian confederation.