Ecuador and Brazil played one of the wilder, incident-filled matches of the 2022 South American World Cup qualifying campaign. The result finished 1-1, but it was a match that featured seven yellow cards, two red cards, two other red cards that were rescinded after video review, and two Ecuador penalties that were also wiped away on review.
The draw allows Brazil to remain undefeated atop the South American qualifying table, while Ecuador tacks on another valuable point as it seeks to clinch the third automatic ticket to the Qatar 2022 World Cup. A berth for La Tri seems all but certain with a seven point lead and only three matches remaining.
The opening five minutes were a sign of what was to come with Ecuador’s Enner Valencia missing a clear look at goal and Brazil’s Casemiro finding the breakthrough just moments later after cleaning up a chaotic sequence. In a match that was littered with set pieces, Ecuador found its equalizer on a corner kick headed home by center back Felix Torres with 15 minutes remaining.
MORE: CONMEBOL updated standings, results and schedule
Outside of those goal-scoring instances, it was Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan and his VAR who were the busiest individuals on the field.
Roldan showed a red card to both goalkeepers inside the opening 20 minutes. While the first one was justified after Ecuador’s Alexander Dominguez sent his studs into Matheus Cunha’s neck, the one shown to Alisson was rescinded since there was nowhere he could have realistically placed his leg on the follow-through after he cleared a ball outside the box.
Alisson was later shown another red in second-half stoppage time for a second yellow card after he punched a ball and an opponent’s head in the box. But the referee went to the monitor and saw that the Liverpool ‘keeper made contact with the ball first and so he rescinded the red card and the penalty.
Ecuador will have a flu about the 55th minute penalty that was taken away following intervention from the VAR. Brazil’s Raphinha looked to have made contact with Pervis Estupinan, who made a dribbling move in the Brazil box. But despite the contact, the referee felt it was not enough to give a penalty after having a second look at it. But the Ecuador outrage over the incident will be alleviated by the point which moves it closer to joining Brazil and Argentina in Qatar in November.
Ecuador vs. Brazil final score
BRA — Casemiro — 5th min.
ECU – Felix Torres (Gonzalo Plata) – 75th min.
(All times Eastern)
Final: Ecuador 1, Brazil 1
97th min.: Another angle shows Alisson punching the ball first. And the referee’s final decision: no penalty! Alisson is saved by the VAR twice!
95th minute: But Alisson is not leaving the field. After he escaped a red card in the first half, he’s campaigning for the referee to look at it on the monitor. And the Colombian official does. Alisson comes off his line to punch the ball and he does it at the same time that Ayrton Preciado is heading the ball. Does Alisson get the ball first? Is it foul? Big decision for the referee.
92nd min: Penalty for Ecuador! Brazil goalkeeper Alisson committed the foul and gets a second yellow card and he’s off. But Brazil don’t have any more subs. What a wild ending!
90th minute: Five minutes of stoppage time.
85th minute: Just as Ecuador bring on two more fresh legs (Michael Carcelen and Jhegson Mendez), it’s Brazil’s Gabigol who gets a shot off and Ecuador’s ‘keeper has to punch away.
78th min.: SUBS & YELLOW — Ecuador’s Moises Caicedo gets a yellow card. And Gabigol comes into the match for Matheus Cunha. The entire Brazil three-man forward line has been swapped. Tite wants a win.
75th minute: Goal Ecuador! It’s the center back Felix Torres, on a set piece of course. On the corner kick from the right side, Torres just nods it home.
71st min: YELLOW — Ecuador captain Enner Valencia goes in the book for stomping on Dani Alves. Brazil is in control now. Ecuador is only getting a rare moment here and there. The Tri can’t manufacture any sustained pressure. It is Brazil after all.
67th minute: SUBS — It’s Ecuador’s turn. Ayrton Preciado and Romario Caicedo are in for Carlos Gruezo and Angelo Preciado.
63rd min.: SUBS — Vinicius Jr. and Raphinha make way for Antony and Gabriel Jesus.
57th minute: It looks like a clear penalty, but the referee takes a look at it on the monitor and decides not to give it! It’s not obvious what clear and obvious error the VAR signaled in that instance. It’s not obvious what the grounds were to rescind the penalty. This game is nuts.
55th minute: Penalty for Ecuador! Brazil’s Raphinha nicks Ecuador left back Estupinan, who made a dribbling run in the box. It’s a stone-cold penalty.
54th minute: Ecuador wants to walk the ball into the net and Brazil’s Alisson scoops it up. Gonzalo Plata makes a slalom run into the box, but his teammate Michael Estrada can’t get a shot off one-on-one against Alisson.
50th minute: Brazil’s Casemiro with a big chance on a set piece and his point-blank volley goes wide. He couldn’t get it on target. I already have one goal on the day.
49th min.: Ecuador scores, but it’s disallowed! The assistant referee flags that the ball went over the end line before the cross came in from the left. This is going to be an entertaining half.
46th min.: Second half is underway and Ecuador wins a corner kick in the opening seconds. But Pervis Estupinan slips while taking the corner and the ball goes out of play. Promising start.
Halftime: Ecuador 0, Brazil 1
half-time: That was a wild first half. First Ecuador have a great chance in the first two minutes, then Brazil strike on a messy play that was a reflection of this game. After that we saw three red cards (one rescinded), five yellow cards (all to Brazil), 10 minutes of stoppage time and two karate kicks by each goalkeeper.
52nd+ min.: Ecuador center back Felix Torres sends a blast from distance that Alisson stops. And on the other end Matheus Cunha rips one that barely misses the left post. Brazil closer to a second there.
48th+ min.: YELLOW — And another card for Brazil’s Eder Militao for a foul on Moises Caicedo. Ecuador with another set piece into the box, it leads to a corner, but nothing comes of it. Ecuador not very effective on set pieces so far.
46th+ min.: There are 10 minutes of first-half stoppage time. It tells you what type of first half we had. Stop start, two VAR instances and plenty of cards.
42nd min: YELLOW — More cards than chances in this game. Brazil’s Raphinha is booked for blocking a promising attack. And Ecuador’s Enner Valencia has another free header on the set piece into the box, but the ball was behind him and he was also offside.
39th minute: Gonzalo Plata goes down in the Brazil box on a challenge by Selecao left back Alex Sandro and that was borderline. He let himself go a little too easily, but it was close. No penalty for the referee.
33rd min.: SUB — Brazil brings on Dani Alves to play right back, and he replaces Philippe Coutinho. It’s the 120th cap for Alves.
31st min: Common sense prevails after VAR. The Colombian head referee, Wilmar Roldan, checks it on the monitor and gives Alisson a yellow and rescinds the red card previously shown.
26th min.: A third red card! Alisson is now out. The Liverpool goalkeeper comes off his line, kicks the ball away and then that leg strikes Enner Valencia on the follow through. This one seems harsh. Brazil is down to nine men. Wild start.
20th minute: The referee just handed out another red card! This one goes to Brazil right back Emerson after a wild tackle — high leg between the legs of Ecuador forward Michael Estrada. It was Emerson’s second yellow. He had received his first yellow in the opening minute of the match.
18th minute: SUB — Ecuador brings in Hernan Galindez and take off a midfielder (Alan Franco). And Coutinho sends the free kick opportunity over the bar.
15th minute: What a disastrous start for Ecuador and Dominguez carries the weight of the responsibility here. His studs made their way up into Matheus Cunha’s neck and left a mark.
13th minute: What is Dominguez doing! After that poor play on the Brazil goal, the Ecuador ‘keeper comes off his line and karate kicks Matheus Cunha with a challenge that sent his studs into Cunha’s chest. Dominguez might be sat off. The referee is looking at the monitor now.
12th minute: The Brazil goal sucked the energy out of the half-full stadium. Ecuador has to show some personality to get back into this. Another Brazil goal could really kill the match.
5th minute: GoalBrazil! On the other end the visitors win a corner and after a couple of shots Casemiro cleans up the rebound after a Matheus Cunha header. Ecuador ‘keeper Alexander Dominguez did not command his box well in that instance, beginning with a weak punch-out.
2nd min.: What a chance for Ecuador! After kickoff, Ecuador wins a free kick on the left side and on the set piece Enner Valencia had a free header on goal and incredibly missed the target. He was totally unmarked.
4:01 p.m.: First Coutinho was back starring in the Premier League and now he’s back with Brazil. What a turnaround.
471 – Philippe Coutinho will play for Brazil 471 days after his last game with the National Team (4-2 win against Peru in October 2020). It was his longest interval without playing for Brazil under Tite. Return. pic.twitter.com/lpvgeD0pae
– OptaJoao (@OptaJoao) January 27, 2022
4:00 p.m.: The White House is half-full today, but it’s still loud:
3:13 p.m.: A little taste of Quito and the arrival of the home team for the match:
Ecuador vs. brazil lineups
Brazil coach Tite is without Neymar, who’s still working on gaining his full fitness from an ankle injury. Lucas Paqueta and Fabinho are suspended and regular right back Danilo wasn’t called up. But when you’re Brazil, you have plenty of backup options: Aston Villa’s Philippe Coutinho and Tottenham’s Emerson Royal are the fill-ins.
Brazil starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): 1-Alisson — 6-Alex Sandro, 3-Thiago Silva, 14-Eder Militao, 2-Emerson Royal — 5-Casemiro (capt.), 11-Philippe Coutinho, 8-Fred — 20-Vinicius Jr, 7-Matheus Cunha , 19-Raphinha
Brazilian subs (12): 23-Ederson (GK), 12-Weverton (GK), 13-Dani Alves, 16-Alex Telles, 4-Marquinhos, 22-Gabriel, 15-Bruno Guimaraes, 17-Gerson, 10-Everton Ribeiro, 21-Gabriel Barbosa , 18-Antony, 9-Gabriel Jesus
The roster selected by Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro features several players who are on the other side of positive COVID-19 tests. Goalkeeper Pedro Ortiz, Jackson Porozo, Jose Cifuentes, Janner Corozo, and Angel Mena did not make the 23-man matchday roster from Ecuador’s expanded roster. Mena was a doubt for a knock picked up during action with his club team Leon.
Ecuador starting lineup (4-4-2, left to right): 22-Alexander Dominguez (GK) — 7-Pervis Estupinan, 3-Piero Hincapie, 2-Felix Torres, 17-Angelo Preciado — 23-Moises Caicedo, 8-Carlos Gruezo, 21-Alan Franco, 19-Gonzalo Plata — 13- Enner Valencia (capt.), 11-Michael Estrada
Ecuador subs (12): 1-Hernan Galindez (GK), 12-Moises Ramírez (GK), 4-Robert Arboleda, 14-Xavier Arreaga, 5-Diego Palacios, 6-Romario Caicedo, 20-Jhegson Méndez, 16-Michael Carcelen, 10-Joao Rojas , 18-Ayrton Preciado, 15-Djorkaeff Reasco, 9-Jordy Caicedo
How to watch Ecuador vs. Brazilian
- Date: Thurs, Jan. 27
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TVChannel: —
- streaming: fuboTV
The South American World Cup qualifiers are available exclusively on fuboTV in the United States.
Ecuador’s Estadio Rodrigo Paz, popularly known as the Casa Blanca, will be at 50 percent capacity for the match after an about-face by local health officials who originally ordered the match to be played without spectators.
Ecuador vs. Brazil betting odds
Odds courtesy of Draft Kings
- Moneyline: Ecuador +245 / Draw +215 / Brazil +130
- Spread: Ecuador +0.5 (-160) / Brazil -0.5 (+125)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: Over +170 / Under -215
- Both Teams To Score: Yes +120 / No -155
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.