Friendly: Ecuador bounce back to defeat Australia


Ecuador defeated Australia 2-1 on Tuesday, with William Pacho, a towering central defender, scoring the game-winning goal on his international debut to give new coach Felix Sanchez his first win since taking over.

In front of 27,000 spectators in Melbourne, who watched a physical and tense friendly, the visitors fell behind to a goal from Brandon Borello in the 16th minute. But they bounced back in a dominant second period, with Brighton left back Pervis Estupinan converting a penalty before Antwerp’s Pacho headed home from a corner.

It was an enthusiastic response to Australia’s 3-1 victory over the South Americans in Sydney last week and Sanchez’s first victory since taking Gustavo Alfaro’s place this month. Their victory was marred by Angelo Preciado, who plays for Belgium side Genk, being stretchered off late in the game.

“I was stoked, of course, first goal for Australia and on home soil,” said Western Sydney Wanderers’ Borello.

It was heated, and they frequently won second balls, but we created opportunities, and I believe there were many positives. Both sides rung the changes from Sydney, with only five Australians surviving.

Joe Gauci of Adelaide United, who is viewed as Mat Ryan’s long-term replacement, made his debut, and Bailey Wright took the place of Harry Souttar of Leicester City, who was forced to return to England early due to a minor ankle injury. Ecuador also changed up the lineup, but they kept Brighton’s Estupinan and Moises Caicedo, who Arsenal is reportedly interested in.

Their threatening striker Kevin Rodriquez went close in the opening moments but it was Australia who hit first. Borello scored his first goal for his country after Borello’s crisp finish of Craig Goodwin’s 25-yard rocket off the post. At the other end, Gauci made a nice save to keep Rodriquez from scoring again.

Five minutes into the second half, Rodriquez earned a penalty kick after Australian defender Thomas Deng brought him down as a result of his speed and skill. Skipper Estupinan stepped forward to score the penalty kick. Ecuador took charge as Australia tired and their pressure paid off in the 65th minute when Junior Sornoza’s curling corner was met by the giant Pacho, who angled his header past the keeper.

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