Netherlands 1-1 Ecuador: Match report, player ratings, expert analysis, fan reaction and more

European giants the Netherlands failed to make an early strike count after South American underdog Ecuador fought back to earn a 1-1 draw at Khalifa International Stadium as the Netherlands stumbled in their bid to become the first nation to qualify for the knockout stage.

An earlier 3-1 win by Senegal over hosts Qatar puts Group A back into heavy contention after the draw now sees three nations having it all to play for on the final day of group play while Qatar becomes the first host nation in World Cup history to be eliminated from the tournament after just two matches, and just the second to never make the knockout stage.

It was another frustrating performance from the Netherlands under Louis van Gaal as a nation that has reached three finals in its illustrious football history but has struggled to remain at the forefront of UEFA, with 2022 viewed as a chance for the nation’s profile to return to more dizzying heights.

Full credit should be given to Ecuador who busted out of the gates after the half-time interval despite going 1-0 down courtesy of a lovely strike from PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo just six minutes into proceedings when the 23-year-old found himself in enough space just outside the area to unleash a bullet into the top corner at the near post, with many thinking the route could be on as many expected the Dutch to improve on their opening match performance against Aliou Cissé's Senegal.

Ecuador talisman Enner Valencia popped up once again in service of his country just four minutes after the restart with a poacher’s finish from close range to draw the combatants level, with Gustavo Alfaro’s El Tri remaining on the front foot for the remainder of the contest as the CONMEBOL outfit dominated their UEFA counterparts in all phases of play while carving out 15 shots while keeping the Netherlands to a paltry two.

Concerns will come in the vein of Valencia’s removal just before full-time due to injury when he was stretchered off the pitch, but it was a performance that Ecuador should be immensely proud of and now need just a draw to advance to the next round in a very intriguing last day clash against the reigning African champions.

As for the Netherlands, they still top the group and will no doubt be expected to come out swinging against Qatar if they are to ensure they top the group, which is a position that many fans will not have wanted when surveying the group in the immediate aftermath of the group stage draw.

Netherlands Player Ratings

  • Andries Noppert (GK): 7
  • Jurriën Timber (RCB): 7
  • Virgil van Dijk (CB): 6.5
  • Nathan Aké (LCB): 6.5
  • Denzel Dumfries (RWB): 6.5
  • Daley Blind (LWB): 6.5
  • Teun Koopmeiners (CM): 7
  • Frenkie de Jong (CM): 7
  • Davy Klaassen (CAM): 6.5
  • Cody Gakpo (RF): 7
  • Steven Bergwijn (LF): 6
  • Memphis Depay (Sub): 6
  • Steven Berghuis (Sub): 6
  • Wout Weghorst (Sub): 6
  • Martin de Roon (Sub): 6

Ecuador Player Ratings

  • Hernán Galíndez (GK): 6.5
  • Angelo Preciado (RB): 7
  • Jackson Porozo (RCB): 7
  • Félix Torres (CB): 7
  • Piero Hincapié (LCB): 7
  • Pervis Estupiñán (LB): 7
  • Gonzalo Plata (RM): 7
  • Jhegson Méndez (CM): 6.5
  • Moisés Caicedo (CM): 6.5
  • Enner Valencia (LM): 7
  • Michael Estrada (CF): 6.5
  • Jeremy Sarmiento (Sub): 6
  • Kevin Rodríguez (Sub): 6
  • Romario Ibarra (Sub): 6

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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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