BRASILA – Switzerland has proven that every last second matters at the World Cup.
In the most thrilling finish yet at the 2014 World Cup, the Swiss stunned Ecuador with a goal in the final seconds of second-half stoppage time to secure a 2-1 win in their Group E match in Brasilia on Sunday. The teams seemed destined for a draw before Switzerland striker Haris Seferovic banged the winning goal past Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez in the 93rd minute.
The last-gasp score for Switzerland came just moments after Ecuador created its own goal-scoring chance at the other end of the field. With the match already into stoppage time, Ecuador advanced the ball deep into Switzerland territory. Antonio Valencia surged up the field for Ecuador as the match entered the third and final minute of allotted stoppage time and delivered a cross to teammate Michael Arroyo. The reserve forward met the ball inside the Swiss penalty area but seemed not to receive it cleanly, taking a touch too many and failing to even get off a shot. After taking the ball off Arroyo’s feet, Switzerland’s Valon Behrami jumped to his feet and ignited the counterattack that led to Seferovic’s goal.
Before Valencia’s long, loping run upfield, the 2014 World Cup seemed just moments away from its first draw. Each team had scored a header from close range on either side of halftime. Ecuador grabbed the early lead in the 16th minute when Enner Valencia nodded the ball past Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio. In the 48th minute, Switzerland went level with a header from nearly the same spot from Admir Mehmedi. When the officials announced three minutes of stoppage times, those seemed likely to be the only scores of the contest.