"I just saw the replay several times, and unfortunately, the referees again make a mistake in favor of the stronger team," Ecuador's head coach Gustavo Quinteros said after the match. "In fact, if the play had been on the other side, we doubt very much that the referee would have decided to invalidate that goal. So we're very angry about that. All that effort, all that work, and we get a goal taken away from us. In any case, we're very happy with the way the team played."
The goal that didn't stand
The Ecuadorians were on a fast break and Jefferson Montero sent a direct pass to Bolaños. The 26-year-old attacker caught up with the ball right before it completely cross the goal line. The forward quickly blasted the ball towards the bottom left-hand corner of the net to simply save the play.
His shot had pace but it was heading directly to the hands of Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker. The keeper got down to his knees quickly and positioned himself well to make the routine save. However, Becker fumbled the ball and allowed it to roll into the net.
Bolaños and the rest of the Ecuadorians in the Rose Bowl began to celebrate as it seemed La Tricolor was going to win the game. However, the referee Julio Bascuñán blew his whistle and erased Los Amarillos 1-0 lead because the linesman believed the entire ball completely crossed the line. In result, Becker took a goal kick and the match ended with both nations leaving with a point apiece.
A dull match overall
There was a lot of hype surrounding this game before it started. Two fast offensive teams were going head to head in group B and goals were to be expected. The start of the match lived up to the hype as both countries were running up and down the pitch moving the ball around.
However, at the 15-minute mark, La Tri began to settle down and started to rely on counters as Brazil took over the match. The Canarinho finished the half with more than a 30 percent advantage of possession but yet that only produced one shot on target. The reason for the low accuracy was not only due to the tight defense of Ecuador but also because of the lack of quality in the final third.
La Tricolor was committed to slowing down Philippe Coutinho and Willian relentless attack in the first half that their offense became nonexistent. The Ecuadorians registered only a single shot in the first 45 minutes, compared to Brazil's four. The second half did not improve the offensive struggle, but the match began to become more physical.
The match ended with more fouls than shots
Besides Bolaños goal that was disallowed, the second half highlights were mostly fouls and yellow cards. In total, 15 of the 29 fouls were committed in the final 45 minutes.
The game ended with six yellow cards, three for each team. In the first half Brazil received all the cards and in the second it was Ecuador that had all the bookings.
The number of fouls in the second half matched a number of shots that were created in the entire 90 minutes. Out of the 15 shots that were taken, only a combined three were on target. It was no surprise that boos began to be heard all over the Rose Bowl the second the match ended.
Where they stand and who they face next
Due to this result, Peru is currently in first place in the group with three points. Brazil and Ecuador are tied for second with one point apiece. Haiti at the moment sits in last with zero points and a negative one goal differential.
However, for the Verde Amarela and La Tricolor, there is barely any room left for error. Another bad result can put their quarterfinal hopes in serious jeopardy. The Ecuadorians will be facing a determined Peru side on Wednesday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. If Los Incas win that match then their spot in the next round will be secured.
The Brazilians in the other hand will walk into a potential trick match when they face Haiti on Wednesday. The Samba Kings need and are expected to secure three points at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. However, another flat offensive performance against a fast and physical Haitian side can potentially lead to another draw or a defeat for Brazil.