rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Valencia brace fires Ecuador to victory over Honduras

Valencia brace fires Ecuador to victory over Honduras

Last updated on: June 21, 2014 05:44 IST

Enner Valencia (No 13) of Ecuador celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal against Honduras

A goal in each half by striker Enner Valencia gave Ecuador a 2-1 victory over Honduras in World Cup Group E on Friday to boost their hopes of making the last 16.

France top the group with six points while Ecuador and Switzerland each have three.

Honduras have now lost twice and face elimination.

- PHOTOS: Five-star France crush sloppy Swiss

Honduras did at least have the satisfaction of scoring their first goal at a World Cup finals since 1982 when striker Carlo Costly drove home after 31 minutes to put them 1-0 up.

- PHOTOS: Costa Rica stun Italy to enter last 16; England ousted

Their advantage was short-lived because Valencia leveled the score only three minutes later. The striker slid in at the far post after a shot from defender Juan Carlos Paredes was deflected across the face of goal.

Honduras thought they had taken the lead again on the stroke of half-time. Costly headed against the bar and his fellow-striker Jerry Bengtson bundled the rebound over the line but his effort was ruled out for handball by Australian referee Benjamin Williams.

Valencia, no relation of Ecuador's captain Antonio Valencia, grabbed his second goal of an entertaining game with a downward header from a free-kick after 65 minutes.

He was also on target in Ecuador's 2-1 defeat by Switzerland in their opening game.

Ecuador, who reached the last 16 in 2006, face the rampant French in their last group game while Switzerland meet Honduras. France beat Switzerland 5-2 earlier on Friday.

Honduras, at their third finals, have yet to win a World Cup game.

- Football World Cup coverage

Image: Enner Valencia (No 13) of Ecuador celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's second goal against Honduras

Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images