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WC top scorer stopped Holland – then he had to get out on a stretcher

The Netherlands and Ecuador both stand on three points after their first World Cup clash, but had to settle for 1-1 each on Friday night. Cody Gakpo scored the first goal for the oranges, before WC top scorer Enner Valencia equalized with his third goal of the tournament.

The match was only six minutes old in Doha when Davy Klaassen won the ball from Ecuador’s Moisés Caicedo, before laying it to starlet Cody Gakpo. The PSV player took the ball a few steps before hitting it into the near corner.

– A rushed ending. It had to be over 100 kph, there was no chance for the keeper to catch him, said NRK radio commentator Olav Traaen.

It was Gakpo’s second goal in as many matches in the World Cup.

But just four minutes into the second half Ecuador could celebrate. Pervis Estupiñán tried his luck, and in return was spearhead Enner Valencia, who easily scored an equaliser.

Then Ecuador took over the game completely. After just over an hour of play, Valencia served 45 degrees, but shot straight into the block. The rebound ended with Gonzalo Plata, who hit on the spot, and the ball flew over the crossbar.

It was the biggest chance after two goals, and thus the Netherlands and Ecuador each stand on four points. The former will meet Qatar in the final group stage game, while Ecuador will meet Senegal, which will quickly become the game-changer for advancing in the group.

One big drawback for Ecuador was that top scorer Valencia sat down and had to come out on a stretcher before the end, where he desperately held his gaze.

Britney Kirk

"Infuriatingly humble coffee guru. Travel practitioner. Freelance zombie fanatic. Certified problem solver. Food scholar. Student."

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