CONMEBOL World Cup 2022 qualifiers:
Alisson catches Enner Valencia in the head AFP/Getty Images

Ecuador is one win away from returning to the World Cup after a 1-1 home draw with South American qualifying leader Brazil on Thursday.

Iran PressAmerica: Casemiro put Brazil ahead in the fifth minute when he hammered home from close range after a goalmouth scramble before the red cards started coming out. The Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Domínguez was sent off for a reckless challenge before the Tottenham right-back Emerson Royal was dismissed for a second yellow card following a clumsy challenge.

Felix Torres headed Ecuador level 15 minutes from time, and the hosts looked to have a chance to win the tie in stoppage time when they were awarded a penalty after Alisson appeared to punch one of their players in the head as he bore down on goal. The Brazil keeper was shown a second yellow card before the decision was again overturned on the advice of VAR. For the second time in the match, the referee ruled Alisson had played the ball first, but on both occasions, he could consider himself fortunate.

Brazil (36 points) and Argentina (32) have already qualified for the World Cup. Ecuador has 24 points, five ahead of Uruguay. Colombia and Peru, which will clash in Barranquilla, Colombia, on Friday, are at 17 points. Chile has 16 and could be overtaken by Bolivia (15), which will travel to Venezuela — the only team in the region out of contention for a spot.

South America has four direct World Cup spots, and the fifth-place team will play an international playoff for a berth.


Read more:

Paqueta scores as Brazil qualify for 2022 World Cup