By TIM FONTENAULT
Ecuador and Honduras both entered Friday night’s match needing a victory, lest they put themselves in a serious hole entering the final day of Group E action at the World Cup.
It seemed like Honduras, the worst-performing CONCACAF side of the tournament, grabbed an early lead, primed for an upset against the South American side. Carlo Costly grabbed a 31st-minute goal that gave Honduras not only the lead, but its first World Cup goal since 1982 – its third goal ever at the competition.
The celebrations did not last long, thanks to Enner Valencia, the leading scorer in Liga MX, who claimed the SBI Man of the Match award with two goals in a 2-1 victory for Ecuador.
Three minutes after Costly gave Honduras the lead, Valencia scored his second goal of the tournament. Juan Carlos Paredes’ effort was blocked and Honduras could not clear it as it made its way towards the near post, where Valencia was waiting to tap it in. His second goal, the winner, came on a beautiful header off a corner kick. Honduras looked lazy on the set piece, completely ignoring Valencia as he knocked in the goal.
Valencia earns the Man of the Match award over teammate Antonio Valencia and Costly.
What did you think of Valencia’s performance? Did another player deserve the award, in your opinion?
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