Lackluster Brazil Held By Ecuador In Quito

Ecuador 1-1 Brazil

Despite being dominated throughout the entire match, Brazil were on the verge of winning in Ecuador, but the home side rescued a well-deserved point two minutes from full-time.
Ecuador had a lot to prove at home to Brazil, and they dominated the entire first half with a very offensive approach.

They created several clear-cut opportunities to take the lead, but were either let down by their finishing or the woodwork.

In the 20th minute Antonio Valencia came closest to giving Ecuador the lead but his long-range missile rocketed off the crossbar.

Ecuador continued to pressure the Brazil goal, and five minutes later a Felipe Caicedo on the turn effort flashed inches wide of Julio Cesar's left post.

Dunga was forced to replace Maicon with Dani Alves in the 23rd minute, after the Inter Milan defender seemed to twist his ankle after sending in a cross.

After a difficult beginning to the match, where they were made to sweat by a superior Ecuador side, Brazil began to come more into the match.

But Ecuador continued to be the better side, and Julio Cesar needed to react quickly to push out a well-placed Walter Ayovi effort for a corner-kick.

Just before half-time, Robinho and Luis Fabiano combined in the Ecuador area and the Manchester City striker shot wide.

Brazil just managed to hang on to enter the half-time break without having conceded a goal. They were completed dominated by a determined Ecuador outfit.

Both teams had their chances immediately after the restart, with Robinho being Brazil's liveliest player.

Even though Brazil looked more ambitious than in the first half, they were clearly feeling the effects of playing at 2,850 meters above sea level.

The Ecuadorians continued to press, and a Cristian Benitez drive almost crept into the right side of the goal. Seconds later Julio Cesar saved another well directed Benitez shot.

But from the run of play Brazil had a great opportunity to go ahead, but Luis Fabiano fired the ball straight into Jose Cevallos' hands.

At the other end Julio Cesar pulled off a spectacular save from a venomous Joffre Guerron drive.

In the 72st minute Julio Baptista replaced Ronaldinho, and within seconds from entering the field the Roma player gave Brazil an unlikely lead with a firm effort that hit the right post and crept in off Cevallos.

The goal seemed to inspire Brazil, who almost got a second when a powerful long-range Alves free-kick was blocked by Cevallos.

Luis Fabiano almost doubled Brazil's lead, when his fierce drive was saved by Cevallos. The rebound fell to the Sevilla striker, who hit the angle of the right post with another strong effort.

It seemed that Brazil would pick up an unlikely victory, but Ecuador pushed all their men forward in a final attempt to draw level and they were rewarded for their persistence.

After good work from Edison Mendez down the right flank a Benitez effort was parried by Julio Cesar but the rebound fell to Cristian Noboa, who fired the ball home from close range to give Ecuador a well-deserved point.

Team Line-ups

Ecuador: Jose Cevallos, Giovanny Espinoza, Neicer Reasco, Walter Ayovi, Ivan Hurtado, Deison Mendez, Luis Valencia, Segundo Castillo, Joffre Guerron, Felipe Caicedo and Cristian Benitez.

Brazil: Julio Cesar, Luizao, Marcelo, Maicon (Dani Alves 23'), Lucio, Ronaldinho, Gilberto Silva, Elano (Josue 61'), Felipe Melo, Luis Fabiano and Robinho.

Goals: Julio Baptista (72'), Cristian Noboa (88')

Yellow Cards:
Elano (44'), Gilberto Silva (68'), Segundo Castillo (76'), Marcelo (78'), Daniel Alves (82')

Referee: Carlos Chandia (Chile)

Venue: Olimpico Atahualpa, Quito. Att: 40,000

Gregory Sica,