Cody Jacobo scored again at Globalism Cup But the Netherlands missed the chance to secure a place in the last 16 on Friday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ecuador, a result that knocked out host country Qatar.
Jakpo, the fearless PSV striker who has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United, put the Netherlands in front with a superb volley in the sixth minute at Khalifa International Stadium.
However, with big and boisterous support behind them, Ecuador fought back so aggressively that the Dutch rocked, and deservedly equalized when it came through Enier Valencia four minutes after half-time.
This was the third goal for Ecuador’s captain, Valencia, in the World Cup, after his brace in his country’s victory over Qatar.
One consequence of this result is that the host nation, who has already been defeated twice, is the first team to be eliminated from the World Cup.
On the other hand, the Netherlands, which lost three times, did not qualify for the next round, with a single point difference between them, Ecuador and Senegal, which defeated Qatar 3-1 earlier.
Ecuador and Senegal will meet in the final round of Group A matches next Tuesday, while Louis van Gaal’s Dutch team will meet the hosts knowing that a draw will secure their place in the knockout stage.
The talk before this match was all about Memphis Depay, with the Barcelona striker impressing as a second-half substitute in a 2-0 win over Senegal in his first game in two months after a thigh injury.
While he again started off the bench here, it was the 23-year-old Gakpo who again starred in front of goal.
He scored the late opener against Senegal, and achieved an early breakthrough on the occasion, volleying with his left foot between Hernan Galíndez’s desperate diving and left post after being dispatched by Davy Klassen.
– Deserved draw –
Remarkably, however, this was the Netherlands’ only shot on goal as it was saved by Ecuador for much of the rest of the match.
Giant Dutch goalkeeper Anders Nobert had to come down to his right to deflect a shot from Valencia, who had been doubting his fitness before the match.
Then Ecuador thought they had leveled in first-half injury time when Pervis Estupinan deflected Angelo Preciado’s shot into the net, but the goal was ruled out for offside against Jackson Borrowo.
Depay then replaced Steven Bergwijn early in the second half but Ecuador quickly equalized.
Estupinan was involved again as Brighton & Hove Albion wing-back’s shot was saved by Norbert but Valencia followed suit to convert the loose ball.
They might have won it, though, as Gonzalo Plata hit a shot off the crossbar just before the hour mark.
An encouraging evening for Ecuador was marred by the sight of Valencia going down on a stretcher late on and then crouching with ice around his right knee, and they hope their all-time leading scorer makes a speedy recovery.
They will certainly need him for a thrilling encounter with Senegal with a place in the last 16 on the line – it’s a stage they’ve only reached once before, when they lost 1-0 to England in 2006.
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