Coming into their Group B finale knowing what they needed to do, Ecuador took care of business and now know who they’ll face in the next round.
Ecuador piled on against Haiti at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night, defeating the CONCACAF nation, 4-0, and setting up a meeting with the United States in four days.
Enner Valencia continued his strong showing at the Copa America Centenario with a goal and an assist against the Haitians, giving Ecuador a place in the quarterfinals.
The West Ham United forward first found the back of the net after just 11 minutes played when Christian Naboa played the speedy attacker a pass down the right wing. Valencia sharply cut in and bent his effort into the far post for the early lead.
Ecuador struck again just nine minutes later, as Valencia fed Jaime Ayovi for the game’s second, which proved to be a crucial goal. With the multi-goal lead, Ecuador automatically advances to the final eight because of superior goal differential over Peru.
For the second straight match, the Haitians faced, what seemed to be, an endless amount of attacks, however, the Les Grenadiers did manage several quality chances, including Mechack Jerome’s header off the cross bar in the first half.
La Tricolor made it 3-0 in the 57th minute, when Naboa got himself on the scoresheet, again beating goalkeeper Johny Placide at the back post. For good measure, Ecuador added a fourth with 12 minutes remaining as Antonio Valencia tapped in from close range.
The victory gives Ecuador a knockout round meeting with the United States on June 16 in Seattle, while Haiti’s run at the Copa America is officially over.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Enner Valencia has been the engine that makes Ecuador go all tournament and he proved that again on Sunday with his nonstop attacking.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
It was always going to be difficult for Haiti to compete in a must-win match for Ecuador, but Valencia’s opener was an indication of things to come for the Haitians, who faced an onslaught of attacks throughout the night.
MATCH TO FORGET
There’s no way all of the blame can be placed on Johny Placide, but 11 goals allowed in three matches, and three on the night, is simply brutal.