In a sudden turn of events in the final seconds of their opening match, Switzerland took advantage of Ecuador’s own missed opportunity and scored the most improbable and dramatic goal of the World Cup so far, giving the Swiss the win with just 20 seconds remaining.
It looked like Switzerland and Ecuador were headed towards the first tie of the World Cup. But in the final minute of stoppage time, Ecuador took advantage of a bad pass by Switzerland and started what looked like a promising counter-attack.
Ecuador’s Antonio Valencia had a full head of steam and with four defenders back, it looked like he had a direct path to the goal and a chance for an open shot as the defenders were waiting for the cross.
As a defender closes in on Valencia he plays a perfect cross to an open teammate.
But instead of taking a one-timer or an immediate shot, the Ecuadorian player hesitated, allowing two Swiss players to converge on the ball and close off any shooting lanes.
A nice sliding tackle by one defender causes Ecuador to turn the ball over without even taking a shot.
Rather than defend the ball, three of the Ecuadorian players are now standing around and showing their disgust at the missed opportunity. This leaves Switzerland with an advantage on the attack.
Sensing the advantage, one player for Ecuador appeared to intentionally try to draw a foul so his team could reset.
Instead, the referee allowed the play to continue which allowed the attack to continue and effectively took another Ecuadorian player out of the play.
Amazingly, Ecuador has left themselves in a position where the Swiss have a 6-on-4 advantage in the final seconds of a tied match. A long cross to the other side sets up the final play.
However, the play almost never happened as a high bounce on the pass nearly sent the ball out of bounds. Instead, Ricardo Rodriguez manages to get a toe of his boot on the ball and keep it in bounds.
Rodriguez manages to control the ball and move towards the box. Meanwhile, Haris Seferovic, who delivered the pass to Rodriguez from the other side, is now sprinting past the defenders in the box.
A perfect pass from Rodriguez around the defender left a wide-open Seferovic with an easy shot into the top of the net.
The referee would blow the whistle 20 seconds later and the match was over and the celebration was on.
Especially for the Swiss Cheeseheads.
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