Ecuador (0-1-0) vs. Honduras (0-1-0), 6 p.m. (ET)
06/20/2014 9:05 AM
06/20/2014 9:13 AM
Curitiba, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - Ecuador and Honduras will both be aiming to bounce back after suffering defeats in their respective World Cup openers in Group E play at the Arena da Baixada on Friday.
Both sides enter the match without a point, but the two teams arrived at that destination in very different ways.
Ecuador's 2-1 defeat to Switzerland came on a stoppage-time winner from Swiss substitute Haris Seferovic, while Honduras was hammered 3-0 by France and had Wilson Palacios sent off in the first half.
There is no room for error for either team in this game as the loser would be eliminated, and both must pick themselves up after tough defeats to open the competition.
Ecuador took the lead in the contest in the 22nd minute through a goal from Enner Valencia as he headed home a free kick.
But Switzerland made the most of a set-piece chance of its own and equalized early in the second half courtesy of Admir Mehmedi.
The match was there for the taking for either side in the second half, but just when Ecuador seemed to be pressing for the winner, Switzerland hit on a counter attack in the dying minutes to snatch the win on a well-worked piece of play that resulted in Seferovic slamming home the winner from close range.
"It was an intense and evenly-matched game. We've seen both teams perform to the best of their ability," said Ecuador head coach Reinaldo Rueda, "We seemed to have the game under control, but what use is that if you end up losing? But that's football, although we didn't deserve to lose. Both teams went looking for the win. We have to get this defeat out of our heads and get ready to face two very strong opponents."
That first opponent, Honduras, was soundly beaten by France through two goals from Karim Benzema and an own goal that brought goal-line technology into play.
Benzema converted from the penalty spot shortly before halftime to put France into the lead, while Honduras entered the break with 10 men after Palacios received a second yellow card.
At that point it was mostly about damage control for head coach Luis Fernando Suarez and his team, although he watched France add another goal in the 48th minute when a shot from Benzema struck the post and was deflected into his own net by goalkeeper Noel Valladares.
Benzema then capped the match with another tally 18 minutes from time, leaving Suarez to hope that his side can learn from the defeat and move forward.
"It was a tough match, and they came through it better than we did," Suarez said. "We've got no regrets; they were simply better than us on the day. There are certain aspects that we'll need to improve ahead of our next game. It's difficult to overcome a team that's already up by a goal and is capable of holding on to the ball so well. We'll need to retain the lessons we learned today."
Honduras is still searching for its first win at a World Cup, while Ecuador can give itself a chance at reaching the round of 16 for the second time with three points on Friday.
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