Ecuador’s “Superman” captain Enner Valencia led a feisty fightback on Friday as the South Americans drew 1-1 with the Netherlands in Group A to keep both teams in pole position for reaching the last 16 while ending Qatar’s chances of qualifying.
Valencia, 33, tapped in his third goal of the tournament from a rebound in the second half after Cody Gakpo had put the Dutch ahead in the sixth minute with a sizzling shot in a result that advanced both sides to four points.
Hosts Qatar lost their second successive game at their debut World Cup earlier on Friday to Senegal.
The African champions are third in Group A with Ecuador to come in Tuesday’s final group games.
Ecuador had a subdued first half as Louis van Gaal’s side looked comfortable but unhurried.
But the South Americans, roared on by a large yellow-clad contingent at the Khalifa International Stadium, stepped up a gear in the second half and could have won it when Gonzalo Plata’s strike hit the crossbar.