By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A 93rd minute strike from Haris Seferovic handed Switzerland a 2-1 win over Ecuador at the Estádio Mané Garrincha in Brasília this afternoon. The Swiss were forced to take three points the hard way, coming from behind after an even first half display.
Their attacking performance after the interval was enough to win it late on, while Ecuador were left to rue wasted opportunities. With France the odds on favorites to win Group E, a win for Switzerland gives them enormous momentum to ensure progress to the knock-out stages.
It all started so well for the South Americans, who got on the front foot but couldn’t secure their position. Ecuador took the lead on 21 minutes when Enner Valencia rose completely unmarked to head home a free kick.
Instead of trying to kill the game the Ecuadorians attempted to sit on their lead and protect their slender advantage. It backfired horribly in the second half.
It took less than three minutes of the restart for Switzerland to draw level. Admir Mehmedi, with his first touch of the game, scored a goal almost identical to that his side had conceded in the first half.
Jumping unimpeded inside the six yard box, he was left with the simple task of glancing the ball past a stumped Domínguez in the Ecuador goal. The impetus was now with the Europeans and they tried to press home their advantage.
It took them until the very final minute, but it paid off. After Arroyo missed an excellent opportunity to snatch victory for Ecuador, Behrami launched a rapid counter-attack for the Swiss.
Sending the ball out wide to the left, Seferovic was on hand from close range to convert the low cross. The Swiss fans inside the Mané Garrincha had the last laugh.
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