World Cup - Valencia at the double as Ecuador beat Honduras

World Cup Group E, Arena da Baixada - Honduras 1 (Carlos Costly 31)Ecuador 2 (Enner Valencia 34, 65)

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World Cup - Valencia at the double as Ecuador beat Honduras
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Ecuador's Enner Valencia (R) celebrates after scoring a goal with his teammates Frickson Erazo (L), Antonio Valencia (2nd L) and Juan Carlos Paredes during their 2014 World Cup Group E soccer match against Honduras at the Baixada arena in Curitiba (Reute)

Ecuador prevailed 2-1 over Honduras in an entertaining encounter which keeps both teams' chances of reading the knockout stages alive.

Honduras had ended a drought of over 500 minutes for their first World Cup goal when Carlos Costly put them ahead, but Enner Valencia was in sensational form to score a brace that put Ecuador in the lead.

The game had gotten off to a lively start and it initially appeared as though Enner Valencia would be the villain for Ecuador as he broke free on goal for the best chance of the game, but put his effort over the bar. Just three minutes later, Honduras made him pay - Jorge Guagua was badly caught under a high ball and Costly got onto it to lash an excellent finish home and end his country's long barren run.

But Ecuador were only behind for three minutes, as Enner Valencia atoned for his earlier miss. The right-back Paredes had been in exceptional form and after beating Roger Espinoza, his cross-cum-shot was turned in at the far post by the man who has now scored seven goals in the last six Ecuador games.

After half-time, Ecuador resumed their dominance from the closing period of the first half, and it wasn't a surprise to see them take the lead. Of equally little surprise was the goalscorer - Enner Valencia again, nodding in from Walter Ayovi's inch-perfect delivery from a free-kick.

Honduras pushed hard for an equaliser, but as time wore on, Ecuador maintained their advantage. Both sides will still have a chance to qualify, but they are decidedly slim even in the wake of Switzerland's thrashing at the hands of France.

KEY MOMENTS

20' ENNER VALENCIA MISS - Enner Valencia is clean through on goal but he spoons a poor effort over the bar, which seems like it could be costly for his side.

29' COSTLY GOAL - A costly goal for Ecuador to concede in more ways than one. Carlos Costly bullies Jorge Guagua as the defender fails to deal with a high ball, and lashes a great finish beyond the keeper and into the net to end a long barren run for Honduras.

34' ECUADOR EQUALISER - Enner Valencia makes up for his earlier blunder by turning in at the back post from Paredes' cross, and Honduras' lead is wiped out inside ten minutes.

64' VALENCIA WINNER - Valencia finds his second goal and the matchwinner as he nods in from Walter Ayovi's excellent free-kick.

KEY STATS

Enner Valencia has now scored 7 goals in Ecuador's last 6 games.

Carlos Costly scored HOnduras' first WOrld Cup goal since 1982.

Enner Valencia now has a chance conversion rate of exactly 50% at the World Cup - scoring 3 goals from 6 shots (Squawka)

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

The two Valencias - Alright, so it's not as interesting as The Two Escobars, but Antonio Valencia is usually quite exciting for Ecuador even as his form for Manchester United has failed. Yet tonight, he (and, in fairness, his counterpart on the left wing Jefferson Montero) did absolutely nothing. The right-back Paredes was the main threat from the flank. On the other hand, it was Enner Valencia who did the damage with yet more important goals for his country. Newcastle United have been linked with a move - it looks like it could well be an astute purchase, even if he does have 'Porto' written all over him.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Enner Valencia (Ecuador) - The Ecuador forward may have missed a fine chance, but as he has done in recent games he came up with the goals when they were required. He now has 3 goals at a World Cup, which ia an excellent achievement for such a young striker playing for an unfancied side. He may well be playing himself into a big-money move.

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PLAYER RATINGS

Honduras: Valladares 6, Beckeles 6, Bernardez 5, Figueroa 6, Izaguirre 6, Garcia 6, Garrido 6, Claros 7, Espinoza 7, Costly 7, Bengtson 4. Subs: Garcia 5, Chavez 6, Martinez 6.

Ecuador: Dominguez 6, Paredes 8, Guagua 5, Erazo 6, Ayovi 7, Montero 4, Noboa 6, Minda 6, A. Valencia 5, E. Valencia 8, Caicedo 6. Subs: Mendez 6, Gruezo 6, Achilier 6.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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