Brazil may be already assured of a spot at the 2022 World Cup, but their opponents yesterday, Ecuador, are not quite there yet — though remain in a comfortable position as the third best team in the region after a dramatic 1-1 draw in Quito.
That scoreline might look benign, but the game featuring two red cards inside the first 20 minutes, an early goal from Brazil, a late goal from Ecuador, and more VAR action than fit for safe consumption, including Alisson Becker being saved twice from dismissal by it: once for kicking someone in the head, then later for punching someone in the head as well. Almost the trifecta, just needed a karate kick to the chest!
Ecuador’s goalkeeper was less lucky after seeing red in the 15th minute for trying to decapitate Matheus Cunha, though Brazil’s man-advantage only lasted a few minutes before Spurs’s Emerson Royal collected a second yellow in the 20th minute, for a wild leg swing that connected with some family jewels. But you probably should just watch the highlights of this bonkers affair. Thiago Silva, who did not captain the team for some reason (Casemiro did), played the full-90 and avoided any major drama fortunately.
Speaking of drama, the USMNT eked out a 1-0 win over El Salvador, one of the worst teams left in CONCACAF qualifying.
Christian Pulisic, fresh off of all his recent rest at Chelsea, got the start and lasted just past the hour-mark in a rather nondescript performance — certainly one that did not live up to the hype of him, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, and Sergiño Dest all starting together for the first time ever.
But at least Pulisic was in the vicinity when Fulham’s Antonee Robinson smashed in the game’s only goal early in the second half. Those two had collided early in the game, with Pulisic seeming to come off worse, but they would both carry on.
The US, Canada, and Mexico all won yesterday, creating a bit of separation to Panama in fourth, who lost to Costa Rica. Huge game against Canada coming up on Sunday for the Stars and Stripes.