Mexico 1-2 Ecuador: Bolaños gives Ecuador faint hope in Copa America 2015

Posted on Jun 20 2015 - 5:47am by Ellis King

Ecuador were in desperate need of a win in order to stand a chance of qualifying, while Mexico also needed a win if they were to avoid relying on a third place qualification. 

Ecuador started brilliantly, with Miller Bolaños striking straight at Jesus Corona in the opening minutes.

Their strong start continued as they dominated the opening stages. With just under 15 minutes gone Juan Carlos Medina committed a foul, giving Walter Ayoví the platform to curl a free kick just wide.

Three minutes later Ecuador had another free kick, but Bolaños was just unable to pick out his target, leaving Corona to watch the ball travel wide.

Mexico’s first chance came as Vicente Vuoso dispossessed Juan Carlos Paredes before he curled his shot off target.

Ecuador took the lead in the 26th minute. West Ham’s Enner Valencia was played in on goal, his effort was deflected into the path of Bolaños who had a tap-in before being able to wheel away and celebrate.

The goal was the final close effort at goal in the half which lacked opportunities, but was high in tempo. Mexico needed to respond in the second half and needed their big players to show up if they were to do so.

In the 57th minute Ecuador doubled their lead. Medina was dispossessed in his half by Osbaldo Lastra, before playing the ball to Bolaños who set free Valencia with a beautiful pass. Valencia, who has struggled at West Ham this season, got his second goal of the tournament by tucking the ball past the goalkeeper.

Mexico’s opportunity to get themselves back in the game fell to Raúl Jiménez. Gabriel Achillier pulled Hugo Ayala down in the box and the ref had no option but to point to the spot. Atlético’s Jiménez dispatched the penalty with consummate ease.

Ecuador responded well, pressing to regain their two goal advantage, but within the first 70 minutes were unable to score a third.

Both sides had chances in the final 20 minutes but there were no real opportunities that you’d expect to be taken. Mexico are now eliminated from Copa America 2015, heading to the Gold Cup in early July, while Ecuador remain in with a chance of qualification from Group A via the third place spot.

Mexico: Corona; Flores, Ayala, Domínguez, Valenzuela, Velarde (Aquino 46); Güemez (Fabian 52), Medina, ‘Tecatito’ Corona (Herrera 62); Vuoso, Raúl Jiménez

Ecuador: Domínguez; Paredes, Mina, Achilier, Ayoví; Noboa, Lastra; Ibarra (Cazares 78), Montero (Martinez 90), Bolaños; Enner Valencia

Booked: Ayala, Bolaños, Ibarra, Fabian, Herrera, Lastra

Goalscorers: Bolaños, Valencia, Jiménez

Man of the Match: Miller Bolaños. The obvious choice. Contributing with a goal and an assist to keep Ecuador’s hopes of progression alive, it would be criminal not to give it to this man.