Despite a furious finish, played almost entirely in front of the opponent’s goal, Ecuador lost its chance to advance to the Copa America semifinals Thursday night, falling to a disciplined U.S. team 2-1.
Ecuador fell behind 2-0 on goals by Clint Dempsey and Gyasi Zardes before the Tricolor’s Michael Arroyo responded midway through the second period with a 20-meter strike. The score re-energized Ecuador but it was unable to capitalize on several scoring opportunities, two by star Enner Valencia.
Both teams played most of the second period with 10 men as Ecuador’s Antonio Valencia and the U.S.’s Jermaine Jones were sent off with red cards. Valencia’s kick on U.S. winger Alejandro Bedoya was followed by Jones’ punch to Valencia’s chin.
The U.S. will play either Argentina or Venezuela on Tuesday in the semifinals. Ecuador comes home.