Ecuador booked a spot in the quarter-finals as they outplayed Haiti 4-1 in the Centenario Copa America Group B clash at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford on Sunday.
Ecuador were the favourites to win in Sunday’s clash against Haiti and they had the upper hand from the very beginning. They were off to flying start and put a number of bodies forward with an intent to attack right from the kick-off.
Ecuador had a sure chance to open their account in the 9th minute but Antonio Valencia’s right footed strike across the face of goal just curled wide beyond the far post.
Ecuador continued building pressure on the Haiti defense and Enner Valencia scored the opener for Ecuador in the 11th minute. Noboa rolled on an incredible through ball to find Enner Valencia, who lodged a well timed strike into the bottom corner.
Antonio Valencia was at his best and posed a lot of trouble for the opposition through his pace on the flank. Ecuador almost doubled the lead in the 17th minute when Lambese misjudged a decisive cross from Antonio Valencia which picked Enner Valencia in the danger area, but an incredible save from Placide denied the striker his brace.
The game looked so easy for Ecuador and was clearly a one way affair as Ecuador set up back to back attacks to dismantle the Haiti defense.
Jamie Ayovi doubled the lead for the men in yellow in the 2oth minute. A brilliant build up played the strikers clean through on goal with only the keeper to beat. An unselfish assist from Enner Valencia found Ayovi near the goal, who rolled the ball into the empty net
Haiti had a chance to pull one back from a free-kick in the 30th minute, but were denied by the bar. Norde came up with a brilliant delivery to find Jerome, who jumped to meet the ball and lodged a header that hit the bar. Genevois met the rebound with a header that went just over the bar to fall on the roof of the net.
Ecuador maintained their domination and had a few half chances as the match approached half-time. Haiti showed signs of life in the latter stages of the half but lacked the finishing.
Haiti looked in better shape after the restart and nearly scored in the 50th minute. Belfort took advantage of a mix-up to get into the perfect position to score but the Ecuador goalkeeper Dominguez stuck a foot out to deny them a sure goal.
A goal line clearance in the 54th minute denied Ecuador from adding to their lead. Cazares had a clear sight at goal and lodged a first-time strike at goal but Genevois managed to keep the ball out with an acrobatic finish.
Ecuador maintained their pace after the restart and exploited the flanks to rip apart the vulnerable Haiti back-line.
Noboa put the game to bed for Ecuador as he scored the third in the 57th minute. Noboa got on the end of a clinical cross from Moreno before thumping in a half-volley past the keeper at the far post.
Haiti worked hard and looked desperate to pull one back in the 73rd minute but Dominguez came up with another outstanding save to deny Norde from close range.
Antonio Valencia scored the fourth in the 78th minute to finish off things in style for Ecuador. Enner sent a pass across to pick Valencia, who pushed the ball into the empty net.
Ecuador became the first team from Group B to book a place in the quarter-finals and will face the hosts USA in their next game.