Ecuador came back and defeated Honduras today on the heels of two Enner Valencia goals in Curitiba in what was a must-win match for both squads. Both teams dropped points in their opening matches -- against Switzerland and France, respectively -- and thus their hopes of advancing out of Group E were on the line. Honduras were without Stoke City midfielder Wilson Palacios, who was suspended because of a red card recieved against France.  

Ecuador started the game positively with Jefferson Montero looking lively on the left hand side as he whipped in a dangerous cross in the 3rd minute, but the Honduran defense was well placed to clear the danger. Ecuador kept up the pressure and in the 20th minute Enner Valencia should have punished a careless Honduran backline when he was one on one on with the goalie but his shot went wide. Honudras were keen to defend and looked to counter quickly, but their stikers Carlos Costly and Jerry Bengston had difficulty holding the ball in the Ecuadorian half. That was until Honduras found the opening goal of the match in the 31st minute. Following a horrible attempted header by Jorge Guagua the ball fell to Costly who made no mistake and struck the ball well into the bottom corner, beating Ecuador's goalkeeper Noel Valladares and scoring Honduras's first World Cup goal since 1982.

RTR3UXMI Honduran Carlos Costly runs to celebrate his goal against Ecuador Reuters

But just three minutes later, Ecuador equalized when a deflected Juan Carlos Paredes shot found Enner Valencia poaching on the back post and his tap in put his side level. His second of the tournament proved his uncanny ability to be at the right place at the right time and put the finishing touch when his team needs it most. 

  RTR3UXL2 Ecuador's Enner Valencia was in the right place at the right time to put in the equalizing goal Reuters

On the stroke of halftime a Costly header rebounded off the post and was put in by Bangston, but the referee disallowed the goal for a hand ball infraction. A replay of the incident showed no hand ball, but the goalscorer was in an offside position, so the no-goal was in fact the correct call. The two sides went into the half even having played an energetic and exciting first period. 

Both teams started the second half positively, and on 58 minutes the referee was called into action again, making a good no-call for an Ecuador penalty. Honduras responded well as Bengston forced Ecuador keeper Alexander Domínguez into a good save in the 60th minute. The deadlock was broken on 65 minutes when a free kick just outside the box by Walter Ayovi found Enner Valencia who again made no mistake and headed his side ahead with his second of the night and third of the tournament. 

Once Ecuador claimed the lead, the South Americans never looked back and held strong defensively to capture all three points. They will face France in their final match and will need a result there, as well as a Switzerland loss or tie to Honduras in order to advance to the knockout stages.