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Willian sparkles but Brazil lucky to escape with draw against Ecuador at Copa America

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On Saturday night, Willian took to the historic Rose Bowl pitch with an extra large heaping of motivation, looking to devour Ecuador as if they were extra juicy pieces of steak and cake.  He made sure to wear his tightest-fitting Brazil outfit for the occasion, too!

He could've been (should've been!) involved in two goals for Brazil in the opening ten minutes alone, but somehow the Ecuador goalkeeper managed to keep shots like this one from Coutinho out of the net.

Despite Willian's best efforts, Brazil couldn't find the back of the net.  While the Chelsea man completed 75 minutes, he was far less effective in the second half, perhaps thanks in part to the reducer he suffered on his knee just ahead of the half-time whistle.  He seemed okay to carry  on, but he wasn't as explosive or effervescent afterwards.

Ecuador meanwhile — and maybe they should be given a bit of credit for their work seeing as how they are 13th in the FIFA rankings, sandwiched between Italy and the Netherlands — should've been awarded a goal on this lucky play.

Alisson spilled the ball into his own net after the deflection off the post, but the linesman called it out.  Replays were mostly inconclusive, but there's a good chance that the ball never actually crossed the touchline.  So, lucky letoff for Brazil who now face easier games against Haiti and Peru.  At least they should be easier games.

Elsewhere, earlier on Saturday, Marco van Ginkel got 20 minutes off the bench as Netherlands beat Austria 2-0, while yesterday, on Friday, Denmark drew 2-2 with Begovic-less Bosnia (and then lost in the subsequent penalty shootout with  a spot in the Kirin Cup final on the line).  Young Andreas Christensen played as the most-central of a backline three once again.